Why do cabin crew sit on their hands? Flight safety measures explained

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Regular travellers may have observed that flight attendants, when seated in the jump seat of an aircraft, place their hands under their legs.

When you first see it, it can be a little unsettling, especially because, let's face it, I'm not the only one who frequently looks to the cabin crew for comfort during flights. However, the reason flight attendants sit on their hands is for extremely crucial safety reasons.

Here’s why they sit on their hands.

Why do cabin crew sit on their hands?

As a safety precaution, cabin crew members sit rigidly with their hands beneath their legs to reduce damage in the event of an emergency.Airlines have different brace positions for their cabin staff, but generally speaking, it's a stiff posture with the hands beneath the thighs or on the knees, knees and feet together, and back and neck against the jump seat.In order to be ready for crises, the cabin crew silently reviews procedures and performs the brace posture throughout take-off and landing. This ensures that they are aware of any close passengers and emergency equipment.

One flight attendant @_hennylim went viral on TikTok for explaining the procedure.

She showed two female flight attendants while touring the interior of the aircraft before settling into the jump seat, fastening their seatbelts, and tucking their hands beneath their legs. In the voiceover for the video, she explained:

“It is called ‘bracing position’. This position involves fastening the seatbelt securely, sitting upright, sitting on hands palms up and thumbs tucked. Arms loose and feet flat on the floor.

“The aim is to keep the body in a rigid pose so that if there was any impact from an unplanned emergency the body is damaged less. This keeps body movement restricted so that there is less chance of injury if there was an impact.”

If you need to assume a brace position throughout your trip, the flight crew will let you know.