What would you do if the airline cabin suddenly lost pressure?

airplane air maskI frequently travel on a commercial airline for work and vacation.  Sometimes a month or two goes by and I realize that I have barely listened to the airline attendants as they recite their prepared safety speech before take-off. You know the speech I mean, the one that tells you what to do in the unlikely event that something bad happens.

Each airline has basically the same message: how to operate the seat belt so you remain safely in your seat in the event of turbulence; how to inflate the life jacket so you don’t sink in the event of a crash landing in the water; how to find the exits in the event that the cabin fills with smoke; and of course how to use the oxygen mask so you can breathe in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure.

According to the FAA, from 2002 – 2007 there were only .01 fatal airline accidents per 100,000 flight hours or .018 fatal accidents per 100,000 departures. So, why do they repeat this same message on every flight if the rate of fatal accidents is so low?

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