The dangerous detail passengers got very wrong in this emergency photo.

The spiel from the air hosts and hostesses at the beginning of each flight can too easily be ignored. Passengers are listening to their podcasts, browsing the in-flight magazine, wondering what they might order from the bar…

“We’ve heard it before,” people are saying to themselves. “The chances of an emergency actually occuring are so slim,” they’re thinking, surreptitiously touching wood.

But now, after the horror incident on Tuesday that saw a plane’s engine explode mid-air on a flight between New York and Dallas – and a woman killed when her window was shattered by shrapnel – the attentiveness of passengers to airline hosts is under scrutiny.

A series of photographs taken by terrified passengers were posted to social media throughout the ordeal and there’s a concerning element to the pictures taken.

As pointed out by travel expert and TV host Bobby Laurie on Twitter, hardly anyone is wearing their oxygen mask correctly.


Former aviation professional Blair Keetch also added:

“As someone who used to fly over 250+ flights a year in a former job, you must listen to your flight attendants. At the very least, it’s polite not to ignore them and it’s possible that this could be life-saving info,” Keetch said.

LISTEN: We need to talk about plane etiquette. Post continues below.

The engine on the Southwest Boeing 737-700 exploded at an altitude of 32,000ft and the plane descended rapidly, by more than 3,000 feet per minute, NBC10 reports.

At this height and rate of descent, the cabin depressurised suddenly, making it difficult to breathe unassisted.

Both Laurie and Keetch pointed out, it’s lucky the plane’s pilot was able to correct the flight in time at a level where the cabin could pressurise and passengers could breathe.


But not everyone is convinced it’s the passenger’s fault.

First, there is the fact people don’t necessarily think clearly in an emergency.

Second, many are pointing out the masks appear too small to cover an adult’s nose and mouth.

“From a design point of view, this speaks of a need to remake the masks such that it is clear and obvious that they are supposed to go over your nose,” one person commented.

Another added: “Though your point is clear Laurie, the first thing that came to mind was the design of the masks which could be better to fit over both the nose and mouth.”

Nevertheless, it’s a message that is worth remembering. No matter how interesting the magazine, or how alluring the plane menu, listen to the safety rundown. Put on the mask correctly. It might just save your life.