Flight attendant reveals the shockingly painful truth about emergency evacuation slides

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Flight attendants spend their working hours flying around the world. Unsurprisingly, they know plenty of things about aircraft that regular travellers do not.

As part of their training, crew members must be prepared for a worst-case scenario, including having to suddenly ditch an aircraft.

However, one flight attendant made a “shocking” discovery about the emergency evacuation slide.

In most cases, passengers will never come face-to-face with one of the evacuation slides.

If they do, it will be an absolute necessity in order to keep everyone safe.

These inflatable slides tend to pop out from the aeroplane when the emergency exit door is released.

They allow people to safety descend from the exit, and can be used both on terrain and in water.

In the case of a water-based ditch, the slides then turn into life rafts for passengers to float upon.

While their use is for safety, an anonymous flight attendant revealed they often come with a less than desirable side-effect.

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Posting to a Reddit forum dedicated to “cabin crew secrets” the airline worker explained: “I never used the slide [in an emergency] but we had to during training.

“You get electrically shocked every time you do it.

“Static shock. Not an electric shock.

“You know when you touch someone and it goes DING. That was it.”

The good news is, these static shocks are not dangerous.

Static shocks are more common due to air quality; for example, if the air is particularly cold and dry.

It happens when the human body picks up too many tiny electrons from certain fabrics which are negatively charged – in this case, the rubber-like material of the slide.

When these electrons come into contact with a positively charged surface, the negatively charged neutrons jump on it.

This results in a tiny “shock”.

Of course, when being briefed on the use of emergency evacuation slides, the crew tend not to mention this as it is not an important factor of their use.

One thing that does impact the use of slides, however, is the type of shoes passengers are wearing.

Travellers are warned to remove high heels before descending down a slide.

“High heels can slow you down and even puncture the slide in case of an evacuation,” Taylor Garland, a spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants told Reader’s Digest.

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