Time To Pay Attention To Preflight Briefings

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Many passengers ignore the safety briefing when flying commercial, convinced that the only useful action to take in the event of an emergency is to call your loved ones (flagrantly disobeying the no-cellphone rule) and say goodbye. But a series of recent crashes -- the ditching in the Hudson and the Turkish Airlines accident in Amsterdam, for example -- have reminded us that in fact many accidents are survivable, and it might be a good idea to pay attention after all. And it turns out that there is much that passengers can do to save themselves and others in the event of an emergency. British Airways knows this, and has trained over 9,000 frequent flyers in Flight Safety Awareness courses at its simulator center in West London. CNN's business-travel reporters tried out the course recently, and found the simulated evacuation "unsettling -- almost frightening."

CNN lists the main lessons that passengers should remember -- know where the exit rows are, be sure to know how to open the door if you are sitting next to one, avoid wearing high heels and other restrictive clothing, and assume the brace position when told -- and "ignore Internet rumors that the brace position guarantees to break your neck and back to make death as painless as possible." The position has been proven to minimize injury, says CNN. For a CNN video of their visit to the simulator facility, click here.