This time of year there are more people traveling (many of them flying) than any other. Flying can be a hassle, between security, confusing airports, missed flights and all around general stress and aggravation. Yesterday as I walked through the airport I saw a news story about an American Airlines flight that had to divert because of injuries that people got when the plane hit severe turbulence. Now I have to admit, I used to be one of those people who never buckled up on a flight. I don’t like rules, (as anyone who knows me will attest to) and I figured this was an easy one to break or bend. I would consider it a personal triumph to “trick” flight attendants into thinking I was buckled when I wasn’t. Hell, the flight attendant who really got me thinking about doing this as a career was one who caught me playing this stupid little game of mine. Even when I was in training it didn’t seem real to me, the constant instance on bucking up. And then I started actually working. You hear a lot of stories “out on the line”, lots of injuries….being a flight attendant is considered a high risk job, and the main reason for this is turbulence. Every day I have to argue and fight with people getting them to buckle up and stay seated when the seatbelt sign is on. And what I really want to tell them, is that I understand…I used to think the same way…but after seeing scars, and injuries I no longer think that way anymore. As a side note: in this business safety is our first concern, both the passengers but also our own personal safety. Think of this….if we hit severe turbulence (which is rare…after hundreds of flights I still haven’t hit anything worse than a few bumps) and you are not buckled in, not only will you get hurt, but there’s a very real chance you will also hurt others. Those kids that you don’t want to buckle because they’re sleeping? They can become human projectiles. It’s extremely rare. But it can happen…that’s why the rules are there. I know that I never though of it as a big deal, but please remember when your annoyed at me for telling you to sit down and buckle up…its for your safety…and mine.
**steps off soapbox**