Business class safety: why some seats have 3-point seat belts

By TravelWiseFeb 26, 2024 12:08 PMNews
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Business class safety: why some seats have 3-point seat belts
How business class seats are protected for safety reasons. Source: Photo: Pixabay

Travelers who have ever flown business class on airlines such as British Airways, Swiss Airlines, and United Airline may have noticed unusual seat belts in their seats. Three-point seat belts are used to improve the level of safety without compromising passenger comfort during the flight.

It is noted that such an initiative was introduced by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Simple Flying explained why such a recommendation was introduced and why leading airlines choose these belts.

FAA regulations on seat belts

The FAA notes that every passenger must take their seat and be properly fastened to it during surface travel, takeoff, and landing. Thus, seats should be installed in an upright position and crew members should issue instructions on how to maintain the correct seating position.

Physics aspect

It is noted that additional safety is needed to prevent possible head injuries to the passenger if the aircraft enters a turbulence zone or during accidents with sudden braking. According to Ken Hoke, a commercial pilot at Aerosavvy, conventional seat belts cannot support the significant load of a passenger while keeping them in place during a sudden stop.

In this case, tight seating arrangements in the cabin could help, but this is not possible in business-class cabins. That is why 3-point seat belts are needed in this case to reduce the speed of the passenger's forward movement after a sudden stop.

3-point seat belts instead of integrated airbags

It is noted that the updated seat belt system is more comfortable and less complex than the system with an integrated airbag. Although some airlines equip their seats with airbag belts to maximize deceleration, this solution does more harm than good. In addition, the cushions are particularly uncomfortable in certain positions, especially when trying to sleep. This leaves the more robust 3-point seat belts as the only ideal option.

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