YOUth should know: Dos and don’ts on an aeroplane

Do you know when you are allowed to pull down your window shade or take off your seat belt?

Fitri Mahad

Probably the only person that likes to hear the koels go ‘uwu’.

Published: 11 January 2023, 6:22 PM

Be it a graduation trip with friends or a family vacation, flights are an integral part of the overseas holiday experience. 

With flights comes the added responsibility of checking-in, packing the luggage and making sure you have the proper travel documents.

Though for some, it might have been a while since their last flight especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We might have forgotten certain rules, maybe even overpacked for the flight.

Given the lengthy time lapse, it is no wonder that we also see shampoo bottles being turned away. Some of us might even forgo bringing our power banks after seeing one catch on fire, even though it is perfectly fine to bring them aboard.

These incidents do bring about a few questions: What can you bring onboard a plane? What if you have a pet? Must you wear your seat belt at all times?

Here are five dos and don’ts when you are on your flight:

Liquid bottles should not exceed 100ml

According to Changi Airport Group (CAG), liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) must be in containers not exceeding the maximum capacity of 100ml. Even if the container is not fully filled, the container will not be accepted.

These containers must not exceed 1L in total and placed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag which must be completely closed. Only one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag is allowed per passenger.

The bag must also be presented separately for examination at the security screening point.

Exceptions are made for baby food and breast milk, where the infant is travelling with the passenger.

Special dietary requirements and medication may be exempted when accompanied with an original letter from certified medical practitioners.

These requirements by CAG apply to all flights departing from Singapore.

Powerbanks are allowed in cabin

Power banks are treated as spare lithium batteries, according to Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) baggage restrictions. Spare lithium batteries are not allowed to be checked-in with baggage and must be carried as cabin baggage only.

What if the power bank had been placed with the checked-in baggage instead? Should it catch fire, it could possibly result in most of the passengers losing their possessions and even endanger the lives of the crew and passengers onboard.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), this includes power banks with a rating of more than 100Wh but not exceeding 160Wh.

Both SIA and CAAS guidelines state that each passenger is only entitled to two spare batteries, or in this case, power banks. 

Should the power bank exceed the power requirement, passengers would not be permitted to carry them into the cabin.

Window shades have to be up at certain points of the flights

Those sitting at window seats might have heard instructions from the pilot or cabin crew to keep the window shades up during taxi, take-off and landing.

While you might be momentarily blinded by the brightness, CAAS lists several safety reasons.

It allows the cabin crew to have a quicker and clearer view of the developing conditions and dangers outside the aircraft during an emergency.

For passengers, they will be able to see what is happening outside and alert crew members should they notice an emergency or anything abnormal, such as sparks or fuel leaks.

It also allows them to be more aware of any happenings outside the plane during an emergency.

Keeping the window shades open also allows rescuers to have a clear view of the aircraft cabin interior so that they can better assess the overall situation.

Seatbelt signs need to be adhered to

There are several situations in which a passenger must wear their seat belt.

According to CAAS, passengers must return to their seats when the “fasten seat belt” sign is illuminated. This is to minimise the risk of injury in unexpected situations such as sudden turbulence or cabin decompression.

Yes, these situations can hurt you. If you have trouble visualising this, maybe this skit can help put things in perspective.

After landing, passengers must remain seated with their seat belts fastened.

Those who have flown might have seen passengers rush for their overhead compartments to get their belongings as soon as the plane stops, despite the seat belt sign still being illuminated.

Even if the plane has come to a complete stop, passengers must wait for the seat belt sign to be turned off before they can leave their seats.

They are also advised to securely fasten their seat belts for takeoff and landing to minimise any risk of injury during unexpected events or crash impact.

Pets are allowed, but requirements need to be met

SIA allows pets as checked baggage as long as it’s at least three months old, and can accommodate all domesticated cats, and selected dog breeds

Should the combined weight of your pet and its container exceed 32kg, it would instead travel as cargo. 

Passengers who intend to travel with their pets must contact the Singapore Airlines office at least two weeks before their departure. They will be required to provide information on their pet, including vaccination certificates and relevant export or import permits.

They should also meet the pet container requirements and ensure that the container is: the right size for the pet, well ventilated, has food and water containers and be properly secured to prevent it from escaping. 

Pets are considered as additional baggage by SIA and will incur additional fees. For all flights, except those to and from the United States, these additional charges will be charged separately according to the total weight of your pet and its container.

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