We know what it's like. As soon as the air stewards get ready with their little seatbelts and life vests, passengers' attention drifts. But, a viral image captured on Southwest Flight 1380 before the plane made emergency landing shows that travelers need to start looking up from their smartphones when the flight attendant is speaking.
An image shared by passenger Marty Martinez shows him other passengers wearing their masks over their mouths. But when the oxygen masks are deployed passengers are supposed to place them over both their noses and mouths.
Properly wearing an oxygen mask is important in a situation where a plane suddenly has a dramatic drop in cabin pressure.
The Federal Aviation Administration calls the masks “the first line of defense against the potentially lethal effects of hypoxia and carbon monoxide poisoning". Hypoxia happens when a person isn’t getting enough oxygen, which can cause dizziness, reduced vision, impaired judgment, unconsciousness and even death.
Martinez admitted his focus was more on capturing the moment on Facebook Live than putting on his mask.
“All I could think about was how can I can I get a message out to loved ones,” Martinez said on CNN. “And rather than put on my oxygen mask I reached for my laptop in an effort to buy WiFi as the plane was going down.”
Southwest flight 1380 was traveling to New York to Dallas with 144 passengers and five crew members on Tuesday when it was forced to land in Philadelphia after one of the Boeing 737’s engines exploded, blowing a window.
A passenger, Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was sucked into the broken window and suffered fatal injuries.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, but a “fatigue crack” in one of the failed engine’s fan blade’s is suspected to be the source of the problem.