LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We’re coming into Spring Break season. Maybe a few lucky friends out there are going to be jet-setting off to some awesome and warm places. And, maybe they have room in their suitcase to smuggle me there with them.

If you’re like me, you kind of nod along with the flight attendants during their safety spiel—take it at face value. And, you may or may not put your headphones in halfway through.

But, have you ever stopped to really wonder WHY all of these rules are actually things? Like, why can’t I have my cell phone on during a flight? Or have my laptop out during take-off? And, the one that REALLY gets me: WHY can’t I recline my chair during take-off and landing and nap in peace?!

Well, lucky for us, we have a resident expert at WHAS. Our meteorologist Reed Yadon also happens to be a lifelong pilot, so I asked him to tell us “WHAS Up.”

Reed Yadon

“It surprises me how many people don’t understand it, or don’t understand the reasons that certain things are done,” Reed told me. He was super down to help us out.

Let’s start out with those draconian, nap-sabotaging rules during take-off and landing. See, having things go wrong on a flight is SUPER rare. In fact, flying is statistically safer than driving. BUT, if something is going to happen, it’s probably going to be during the take-off or landing part of the flight, and the flight attendants need you to be extra ready to respond if need be. Hence, no laptops on your laps, no tray tables down, and—tragically---no napping in a reclined seat.

“[If] the seat is leaned back, that’s cutting the space you have down to get out of there if you have to get out in a hurry,” Reed explained. “Plus, if you’re thrown forward all of a sudden, here is a seat that’s closer to you. You’re more likely to jam your face into it.”

Now, on to cell phones. The ban on cell phone usage on planes is actually the remnant of an older time when cell phones were “analog” and could scramble things up in the air. Our digital cellphones wouldn’t work at cruising altitude even if we wanted them to (without WiFi that is).

“There’s some thought that rule is going to change,” Reed said. “But, I will tell you there was a survey done about a year ago among passengers: ‘would you favor having cell phones be used in the aircraft?’ Resoundingly, the answer was no. I don’t want to be sitting next to some guy talking on the cell phone for an hour.”

Ok, that is a VALID point.


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