Oh Lordy, I’m speaking French for the first time in years. Oh dear this is quite a challenge.
My seatmate to Chiang Mai is a Frenchman who does not understand the security instructions on our air Asia flight… So I am to translate for him. How doubly humorous that I am to translate and that what I am translating seems so silly and so, so “budget airline” (or something).
We are sitting at the gate and have been instructed NOT to fasten our seatbelts.
Apparently this is a grave instruction because it is followed up by a dapper young flight attendant circulating the cabin unbuckling people’s seatbelts. The Frenchman does not concede to have his lap handled for this apparently important safety procedure and thus I am left to try to explain this bizarre policy that seems quite incomprehensible to me as well.
I suppose the logic is that whilst refueling the jet, seatbelts are to remain unfastened in case of emergency. All the better to make a hasty and panic stricken exit onto the Tarmac I suppose…
It’s comforting to know that Air Asia is so diligent about its customers’ safety, even if their attentions often seem misplaced.
Similarly, they are very diligent In demonstrating the availability and use of the whistle affixed to all life vest floatation devices “in the event of an emergency water landing.” A couple points about this alarm me: one, the whistle apparently holds high priority on the lifevest, as if its thoughtful placement there were a superior life saving device than the floatation featuref; two, I imagine 300 people bobbing in the water in chipper yellow vests all blowing their whistles for dear life silhouetted with a burning and sinking airplane in the background (what a cacophony and horrible vision that is); three, there’s no such thing as a water landing, or at least nothing comforting about such a procedure–planes sink, last I checked; four, as if there’d be anything left should we find ourselves in dire enough straits to necessitate a water landing; finally five, that damn whistle makes a damn shrill and jarring noise, especially within the confines of a grounded airplane cabin!
I’ll just chalk these kind safety policies up to another odd habit of the regional airline industry, also chalk it up to the societal habit of overwhelming hospitality. Neither of these are bad things, just humorous and ultimately lacking in the ability to provide the very reassurance that they are designed for.
While on the subject of things that are different: while on the ground airplanes pump in the cold air to such a degree that it looks like the whole passenger cabin is smoking. Plumes pour out of every vent enveloping the cabin with an ominous white smoke. It takes some getting used to and admittedly, I’m not adjusted just yet.
Flying budget in Asia, fun stuff (just make sure to keep those fingers and toes crossed… “In the event of an emergency water landing”).