There are a number of ways to make you the most unpopular person on a flight – showing up late for boarding, picking your toenails, and getting drunk on free alcohol should all be enough.
But lighting a fire, even unintentionally, must be the deciding factor.
However, it’s much easier than you might think to start a fire on an airplane – all a passenger has to do is lose their phone on the side of a seat.
On a Qantas flight to Melbourne in 2018, a man did just that, dropping his cell phone and then trying to retrieve it.
As he tried to retrieve it, the handset began to smolder, the situation becoming so bad that the pilot considered diverting the plane to Sydney and the crew had to use fire extinguishers to put out the blaze.
Passengers are now warned to contact a flight attendant whenever they lose a phone on the side of an airplane seat, as crushing powerful lithium batteries can easily start a fire or explosion.
The incident follows an earlier warning from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which issued a statement that read: “Smartphones can fall into aircraft seat mechanisms and be crushed when seated. is moved.
“It can damage the phone lithium battery which may cause overheating and fire.
âPassengers should remember to never move their seat if a phone goes missing in flight and to always call for help from the cabin crew on the plane.
âIf a phone is damaged, the cabin crew should be alerted immediately. “
The incident is just one of many phone fires that have occurred in aircraft in recent years.
In August of this year, a cell phone caught fire in the cabin of an Alaska Airlines flight, causing the plane to be evacuated.
In July 2018, Ryanair passengers were filmed escaping on an emergency parachute after the cellphone battery ignited a few minutes before take off.
Vacationers could be seen falling on top of each other in an attempt to get away from the plane as quickly as possible after activating the inflatable slide.
Then in February 2018, a the passenger’s hand luggage was filmed in flames on the China Southern flight as an air hostess was forced to fight the blaze.
Airline pilot Patrick Smith told Sun Online Travel the phones were in checked baggage pose an even greater problem for flight safety.
He said: âI would be concerned about the fires in the lower hold.
âIf that were to happen, the crew on board wouldn’t understand what is going on or how fast it is spreading.
âThe holds are equipped with fire extinguishing systems, but these systems are not always effective against these types of fires.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.