It’s a ritual most passengers on an airline flight either ignore or take for granted. Pre-flight demonstrations by attendants show the proper way to cover their noses and mouths with drop-down masks in the event the cabin loses pressure.
Southwest Airlines’ attendants are particularly adept at making the presentations humorous so passengers pay attention, but the safety warnings are clear.
That came into play Tuesday during the terrifying moments when Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 had to make an emergency landing. Viral images and videos of the scene on board the plane revealed panicking passengers putting their oxygen masks on incorrectly, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Many of the photographs showed passengers wearing the drop-down masks, but only covering their mouths. The proper way to wear the masks is to cover both the nose and mouth.
Flight 1380 saw the first fatality on an American passenger airline since 2009.
According to the FAA, the masks provide “phase-sequential continuous flow” that can prevent oxygen deficiencies up to 40,000 feet, the Chronicle reported.
The Southwest Airlines Boeing 373 blew an engine at about 30,000 feet, forcing an emergency landing in Philadelphia moments after the plane took off from New York.