Thursday, 21 March 2024

Here is a ‘scary’ reason flight attendants sit on their hands during takeoff

by BD Banks

While the answer is obvious to anyone in the aviation space, certain moments of the flying process that laypeople observe during their travels regularly come up and go viral in different corners of the internet.

Over the last few months, several flight attendants who talk about their jobs on social media have explained why they sit on their hands during takeoff and landing. It all comes down to the “brace position” air crew is taught to take at different times throughout the flight.

Related: An American Airlines Captain’s Rant on Plane Etiquette Is Going Viral

“Ever wonder why cabin crew sits like this during takeoff and landing?” Henny Lim, a flight attendant with the Cebu Pacific  (CEBUF)  airline in the Philippines, asked while sitting on her hands in the jump seat in a TikTok video. “It is called ‘bracing position.”


Why do cabin crew sit on their hands while in their jumpseats? Check this video out to know! Special guest for today’s video: Clare demecillo Follow my Official Facebook Page: “Henny Joyce Lim” Follow me on Instagram: _hennylim_ #fyp #HJL #cabincrewlife #bracingposition #cebupacific #groundstop

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

‘Less chance of injury if there was an impact’

Lim went on to explain that the bracing position involves sitting upright with the seat belt strapped across the chest while the feet are planted on the ground and the hands are tucked below one’s upper thighs.

More Travel:

While the full version of the brace position is adopted when the “brace for impact!” instruction in the case of a crash, flight attendants need to adopt it every time they are in the jump seat due to the higher chance of being thrown during takeoff and landing.

“The aim is to keep the body in a rigid pose so that if there was any impact in an unplanned emergency, the body is damaged less,” Lim explained. “This keeps body movement restricted so that there is less chance of injury if there was an impact.”

These are all the different forms of the brace position (it depends on the seat)

The exact brace pose depends on the positioning of the seat. Those in regular passenger seats would be instructed to bend forward and lean on the seat in front. Passengers, however, would only be instructed to do this in the rare case of imminent impact while flight attendants do it as standard procedure any time they are in the jump seat.

The video was viewed nearly 36,000 times while multiple people commented that they have often wondered why flight attendants do this after watching them sit this way but never bothered to find out the answer. After the video took off, multiple flight attendants have also taken to the internet to shed some light on what is obvious to them but is often a mystery to those outside the industry.

“Depending on the jump seat position and location, and the aircraft type, they also place their head a certain way for takeoff and landing,” Hilary Clark, who leads in-flight services with private jet company Planet 9, told Travel + Leisure. “For example, if their seat is facing away from the pilots, toward the aft of the aircraft, they place their head slightly up and back on the headrest. If their seat is facing the pilots, to the forward of the aircraft, they place their head down and slightly tuck their chin as if they are bowing.”