FREQUENT flyers will be familiar with the yellow seat belt sign and the infamous ‘ding’ that accompanies it going on and off.
But what happens to those passengers who ignore the sign and carry on walking around the plane – is that illegal?
The short answer is yes, it is illegal.
The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed it is a legal requirement for passengers to wear their seat belts when the light is on.
However, a flight attendant revealed that if passengers do continue to get out of their seat to go to the bathroom, she isn’t going to stop them.
Annette Long, a flight attendant with 13 years experience, spoke to Insider.
She said: “When a seat belt sign is on but it’s smooth, some people don’t listen.
“They want to go to the bathroom – they don’t want to be rude and ugly – but they want to go to the bathroom, so they get up to go to the bathroom.
“Well, I’m not going to physically force you to stop… I’m just going to inform you, because I’m required to inform you, that the captain still has his seat belt sign on and I don’t think it’s safe for you to be up.
“And then they usually say, ‘I just have to pee’. Okay, well, I don’t want to be involved in that decision – you’re the adult, you make that decision.”
Annette’s rule of thumb for passengers is for them to follow the example set by the flight attendants.
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She continued: “If the flight attendants are sitting down with their seat belts on – it’s probably a good idea to have yours on too.
“Am I going to get crazy over seat belts? No. Am I going to be concerned about somebody that’s not listening to any instructions and is not acting appropriately? Yes.”
A pilot confirmed that passengers should remain seated when the seat belt sign is on, but that often when flight attendants remind passengers to sit down, it “falls on deaf ears”.
Captain John Cox told USA Today: “It happens, so often, that, sadly, it falls on deaf ears.
“The flight attendants try to provide a reminder that the seat belt sign is on.
“The captain will have it on when there is a possibility of turbulence.
“Turbulence is unpredictable and often will not occur. This causes people to believe there is no risk. This is a false belief.
“If the seat belt sign is illuminated, passengers should remain in their seats.
“If physiological reasons make a visit to the lavatory imperative, the passenger must assume the risk.”
To avoid getting up to use the bathroom when the seat belt sign is on, a flight attendant has revealed the best time to go for a wee on a plane.
And if nature continues to call, a member of cabin crew has shared the perfect moment to go for a poo during a flight.