Checking in online for a flight, I uncharacteristically pause to look carefully at the safety screen. Well, to squint at it. There’s a lot going on in a small space.
Is your baggage safe for take off?
Although I wouldn’t myself make an airplane’s takeoff into two words, I see that online opinions vary, and I’m prepared to let it go. This time.
What really bothers me is how hard it is to “unpack” this communication, as we say these days. Let’s take a look, shall we?
There are four quadrants with content. Let’s read them as most of us do, left to right, top to bottom:
- Things that you can take, but that must go with you in the cabin.
- Things that you can not take on an airplane at all at all no siree don’t even think about it and yes this means you.
- Things that you can take, but that must be checked in as baggage.
- The WARNING.
Here’s the order in which I’d present this content:
- The WARNING. Can you hear me now?
- No to this stuff, not anywhere.
- Yes to this stuff, but only in the hold.
- Yes to this stuff, but only in the cabin.
And I’d use font large enough to, you know, read, even if that meant having four screens to click through, starting with the WARNING.
And I’d have an icon to match every word or phrase, which this doesn’t, not perfectly.
And I’d put the icons in the same order as the words, which this doesn’t, not perfectly.
And I’d ditch the “etc.” at the end of the prohibited/restricted lists. How can I or anyone guess what that might include?
So I wonder why the airlines don’t do these things. It begins to look like a pro forma safety effort: security theatre, as we say these days.
Maybe I should be unpacking altogether.