Did you know that almost all travel insurance policies have ‘in-flight injury’ included on their covered list? This is not so surprising when you consider a few scenarios that have befallen our fellow travellers.
In June 2009, on an overnight flight from Hong Kong to Perth, passengers were injured when the plane hit severe turbulence over Borneo. Although treated on-board, they were also taken to hospital on arrival in Perth. One of those severely injured was directly related to her not wearing a seatbelt. This is just one example. The way to try and prevent injury? Keep your seatbelt on throughout the flight.
Service cart injuries
Some of us ‘spread out’ when we sleep. Doing that while enjoying the benefit of an aisle seat can be hazardous. Elbows and ankles have been knocked, due to not-so-careful cabin crew and in some cases, the travellers have sustained fractures. Means of prevention? Best to keep your feet out of the aisle and don’t let your arms protrude too far over the armrest.
Added to the above is careless passengers who bump you with either their limbs or bags as they make their way up the aisle.
Hot liquid spills
These do occur, mostly when a cabin crew member either through misfortune, carelessness or turbulence, spills hot liquid on a passenger while pouring tea or coffee into a mug on their tray table. Or spills it while passing it over the aisle seat passenger to one of the other passengers. The only cure that comes to mind for this one, is not to sit in an aisle seat. Or request that it be poured while on the service cart and not when on your tray table.
If the person next to you reeks of alcohol (or any bad odour for that matter), you can discreetly request a seat change after take-off. Most airlines allow this, although if the flight is chock-a-block, you may be out of luck.
If you cannot do the above and you are threatened in any matter, get up and find a member of the cabin crew and alert them.
Overhead luggage bins
As most well travelled globe-trotters are aware, luggage is often displaced during landing and take-off. Overhead bins are often overloaded and if insufficient care is taken, luggage can fall onto the passenger sitting beneath. I have been hurt in such a manner when a fellow passenger opened the bin and failed to ‘catch’ their lead-heavy bag as gravitational attraction took over.