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Superstitious rituals

Superstitious rituals

Old Oct 8, 00, 3:11 pm
  #16  
Commander Catcop
 
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Not superstition but tradition when I fly:

*Pay attention to the flight safety announcements (even when I heard them for a gazillionth time.) [b] OMNI: Another pet peeve is when people start yakking away during the safety announcements. They will be the ones panicking when it's time to evacuate.

*Check my seat mate. Most times they stick their face into a computer or book which is fine.

*PRAY upon takeoff and landing.

*Always try to get 1B in First or the aisle seat closest to the restroom. Then I can just head for the lavatory when the seatbelt sign goes off.
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Old Oct 9, 00, 2:51 pm
  #17  
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I'm obviously not superstitious...I mean I am leaving this Friday the 13th for a 4-flight transpacific trip to HKG.

But I do have this strange need to have a cigarette or two before I step on a plane...Thing is, I'm not a regular smoker, I'm not a nervous flyer--I mean I take 50-60 flights per year. But I absolutely have to have a cigarette before getting on a plane. I buy the pack at my home airport, head for the RCC for another when I get to ORD...Put the pack away, grab my next one before departing for home, another at ORD on my way home, then throw the pack away when I get home.

Easier said than done--smoking at LAX or SFO is a little harder than say NRT or CLT.

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Old Oct 10, 00, 7:34 am
  #18  
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Nanook: That's more tradition than superstition
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Old Oct 10, 00, 3:23 pm
  #19  
jet
 
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I, too, keep my shoes on, and my glasses if I'm wearing them, until a few minutes after takeoff, but I've always seen this as more of a "this way I can get the heck outta here and see where I'm going if we have a survivable crash." I also look over the safety information card before takeoff (unless I am SOOOOO tired I just fall asleep); but again, this is more of a safety thing than superstition. There are a lot of different configurations of exit doors, and figuring out which one you have and how to operate it while outrunning flames is not my idea of a good time... And in that vein, I suppose I also make a mental note of the closest exits and how to get there; then how to get there if the plane was upside down. I mean, all of this takes about 15 seconds as I'm getting myself comfortable... I figure I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I survived a crash only to burn or die of smoke inhalation because I couldn't figure out how to get out.

The only thing I do that I would consider "superstitious ritual" is that I pat a kiss on the outside of the plane as I'm boarding (that is, I kiss my hand and then pat the outside of the plane with that hand). You wouldn't even notice it if you weren't really paying attention; you'd probably think I was steadying myself as I stepped onto the plane...
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Old Oct 10, 00, 4:57 pm
  #20  
 
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No superstitions for me, though for some reason I always prefer sitting in a window on the left side of the aircraft.

Regarding taking your shoes off on a flight...

I took an Aviation Safety and Accident Investigation course during my undergraduate coursework for Aviation Administration in Atlanta. My professor was a former NTSB investigator (among other things), and one thing he said to our class regarding this stuck with me:

"Most accidents occur during events leading to and including the takeoff as well as those leading to and including the landing. To increase your chances of survival and aid in your evacuation from the smoldering wreckage, always:
  • Wear your seatbelt low on your lap and as tight as you can stand it for the takeoff and landing. Believe it or not, your seat is designed to withstand forward impacts; and many would-be survivors are strangled or have their limbs disabled by loose seatbelts.
  • Wear leather shoes (tighed snugly) with thick soles (i.e. Timberlands) so that your shoes will stay on during the violence and so that you can run through fields of sharp, flaming debris.
  • Wear as little synthetic clothing (i.e. pantyhose, rayon, etc.) as they will adhere to your body and melt into your skin.

I hope this doesn't discourage you from flying, but it's nice to keep these things in mind from time to time."


Anyway, it always makes me chuckle when I think back on those days; but I also find myself wearing my seatbelt tight and snug leather shoes...

P.S. I would not recommend taking an Aviation Safety and Accident Investigation course unless you absolutely LOVE aviation...
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Old Oct 10, 00, 8:32 pm
  #21  
 
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No flying superstitions.

Tons of baseball superstitions as a Red Sox fan. As you can tell, none of them actually WORK.

I operate on the reversed clutchability factor. How likely am I to be crushed to death by a panicked seatmate? I think I still have bruises from a seatmate two years ago who cut off circulation in my left arm when the flight experienced violent turbulence. She was very apologetic after touchdown.

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"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own."
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Old Oct 11, 00, 6:44 am
  #22  
 
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Originally posted by Jon Toner:
I think I still have bruises from a seatmate two years ago who cut off circulation in my left arm when the flight experienced violent turbulence. She was very apologetic after touchdown.
Yeah, but was she cute?
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Old Oct 13, 00, 4:06 am
  #23  
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Friday the 13th don't you know. Who's flyin?
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Old Oct 13, 00, 11:26 am
  #24  
 
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Originally posted by jet:

The only thing I do that I would consider "superstitious ritual" is that I pat a kiss on the outside of the plane as I'm boarding (that is, I kiss my hand and then pat the outside of the plane with that hand). You wouldn't even notice it if you weren't really paying attention; you'd probably think I was steadying myself as I stepped onto the plane...
Jet, that's so funny - I do the same thing myself, but sans the hand-kiss. I always pat the outside of the plane while boarding. To me, while the interior of every plane is mainly boring plastics, it is reassuring to make a tactile connection with the cool, solid aluminium hull.

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Old Oct 15, 00, 3:22 pm
  #25  
 
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After reading the above answers to this thread, I realized that I do many of the same things, although I never gave much thought that I was doing them for superstitious reasons.
Always pat the aircraft skin when boarding.
Always try for left side--aisle. Don't know why.
Quick glance at safety card. Semi listen to safety lecture.
Shoes (or my cowboy boots if traveling to LAS--for luck) off at cruising attitude, and back on when we start descent.

Me, superstitious???? Naaahhhh

bj-21.
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Old Oct 16, 00, 1:30 pm
  #26  
 
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Wow.. I do some of the same...

I wear cotton all the time and NEVER wear shorts on the plane... I do wear short sleave cotton shirts.. So I am guessing my arms would be history.

I always bring a bible with me on the plane.. and usually pray... and it has worked so far... (I am safe and also had some very interesting conversations on the plane).

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Old Oct 19, 00, 7:24 am
  #27  
 
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I believe it is much harder to stay afloat and swim with heavy shoes?
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Old Oct 20, 00, 3:30 pm
  #28  
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I've noticed this one for years, and did perform a random sample over the last 4 flights.

Many, many people seem to close their eyes during take-off. Some feign sleep (how can I tell "feigning?" Body language.), others just put their head back and close their eyes. Lots of people put their book down in their lap and close their eyes for take off and then pick their book back up a minute into the flight.

I tested this on my last 4 flights, all in domestic first class looking around during take-off. On two, around half of the people in the cabin closed their eyes. On one, everyone but me had their eyes closed. On one, only 3 of the 8 in the cabin did. Ironically, this was on the red-eye!!!

I suppose that this is more of a way of dealing with stress/fear than a superstition. But now that I've started noticing/looking for this behavior it has proven onmipresent!!!
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Old Oct 24, 00, 9:35 am
  #29  
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kokonutz: I often close my eyes on takeoff, especially after an overindulgent evening - I always thought that it was to minimize the chance of nausea from watching the ground flash by at 150+ mph. That's what I tell myself, anyhow.
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