Safety expert reveals the common travel item that can become a hazard in a deadly emergency landing


A SAFETY expert has revealed a common travel item that can become a hazard in a deadly emergency landing.

Today many travellers insist on bringing items with them on board to make long-haul flights a little less gruelling.

Travellers claim the foot hammock relieves pressure on their feet during a long-haul flight


Travellers claim the foot hammock relieves pressure on their feet during a long-haul flightCredit: Amazon
Many passengers dread long-haul flights particularly when travelling in economy


Many passengers dread long-haul flights particularly when travelling in economyCredit: Getty

Foot hammocks, cup holders, eye masks and inflatable mattresses for kids are now seen as key accessories for many flyers.

But now many airlines are clamping down on the items, on the grounds that they poses a risk to safety.

Kylie McGillivray-Brown, general manager of customer experience at Air New Zealand, told the WSJ: “Items like foot hammocks and inflatable footrests aren’t permitted onboard Air New Zealand flights for operational and safety reasons.”

However, it seems that many travellers are still keen on using accessories to take the edge off long-haul flights.

New Jersey resident Alexa Caradimitropoulo recently posted a video on social media of her using a foot hammock on a long-haul flight from the US to Japan.

She said: “There is something about having your feet up during the flight where it is just so much more comfortable.”

She said the flight crews on her departure and return flights never bothered her about the hammock, and her video has been viewed millions of times on social.

New British Airways Seats

Jess Bohorquez, from Chicago, is also a fan of the foot hammock.

She said: “I thought it was just the most genius way to give you a little bit more comfort with your feet.”

David S. Ryan, an assistant professor and the executive director of the Robertson Safety Institute at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona, has now warned that the increased use of accessories poses a risk to safety.

He said: “If the airplane is on fire, you don’t want anything getting in your way.”

Mr Ryan explained to the WSJ that a foot hammock or a cup holder that hangs from the seat back or another part of the plane risks causing damage if not used with care.

Meanwhile, Reddit users have posted hacks to fashion bum bags and scarves into makeshift foot hammocks.

The policies do appear to vary from carrier to carrier.

Southwest Airlines, for instance, doesn’t have its own ban on any items apart from following the federal guidelines and regulations, a spokesman said.

What to do in an emergency

Sun Online Travel’s resident flight attendant included it in a list of safety tips that they claimed would make life easier in an emergency.

They said: “Your luggage isn’t as important as your life – always leave it behind in an emergency.

“You don’t need your laptop or your clothes as much as you think you do, so just get off the plane as quickly as you can.

“It not only slows you down, it slows down other people and prevents them from getting out of the plane as quickly as possible.

“How guilty would you feel if someone died because you held them up by getting your suitcase out of the overheads? It’s really just not worth it at all.”

The cabin crew member also said passengers should count the number of seats between them and their emergency exit when boarding the flight, in case they have to evacuate in the dark.

They said: “It’s a simple thing you can do – count the seats from the emergency exit to your chair when you’re getting on, in case there’s an emergency and you can’t see where you’re going.

“Knowing how many rows there are between you and the exit could really help in an incident like that.”

Passengers have also been warned that they should also keep shoes and socks on during flights in case there is an emergency.

Being barefoot could cause injury, while footwear lingering around the cabin could also trip up other passengers trying to escape.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said foot hammocks and similar devices “are not permitted onboard due to the stresses they put on the seat structure and may impact on the customer comfort in front or behind.”

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the agency’s regulations require that all carry-on items “be stored in a suitable closet, overhead bin or under the seat during taxi, take-off and landing.”

The agency doesn’t have any specific prohibition on items like foot hammocks, and said airlines determine whether to allow or prohibit those products.


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