Flying might well be one of the safest modes of transport going, but that doesn't tend to serve as a comfort to anyone who's remotely scared about the concept of traveling at 36,000 feet in a tin box in the sky.
Scared fliers have a tendency to catastrophize (guilty) and will proceed to imagine all sorts of terrible disasters that will probably ensue throughout the whole duration of the flight, because it'd be just your luck that it'll happen to you.
So without meaning to add more worries to your already overflowing pot, this is just a friendly reminder to always check underneath your seat before you take off in a plane. Why? Oh, just the fact that some idiotic travelers have been known to steal the life jackets as "souvenirs" in the past, and you'd probably rather not be mid-emergency landing when you find out that yours is the lucky one to have gone missing.
In an article by The Huffington Post, airline expert George Hobica explained that "people take those life jackets, located under or between your seat, as souvenirs," going on to label that kind of robbery "a vile and punishable offense." Damn right.
While cabin crew obviously do checks on that kind of thing, Hobica notes that they usually take place "at the start of every day," and given that "a plane could make several trips in a day, during any one of [these] a passenger could steal a life vest."
Ah, good to know. So armed with this information, Hobica likes to do a quick check underneath his seat (or overhead, if that's the way your plane is designed) to make sure he's definitely got a life jacket. And if this guy's an expert in aviation then I don't know about you, but I'm going to follow his lead.
It might prove fairly awkward when the person sitting next to you is waiting to get into their seat while you're fumbling about on the plane floor, but what's a few minutes delay when this kind of sensible vigilance might well save your life, amiright?
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.