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Airline offers crash survival courses

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British Airways will soon be offering its Executive Club members a four-hour course on how to survive plane crashes, in an unprecedented new initiative.

Under the scheme, to be launched next year, BA's frequent fliers will be able to trade in their air miles for places on the four-hour, £125 session.

Andy Clubb, the BA manager running the course, told the Independent: "It makes passengers safer when travelling by giving additional skills and information, it dispels all those internet theories about the 'brace position' and it just gives people so much more confidence in flying.

"With other passengers around them reacting in a positive manner to the instructions being given by the crew, the few passengers that might have frozen might follow those who demonstrate that they know what they are doing," he added.

The concept of building confidence in passengers' emergency response reactions follows research by the Civil Aviation Authority, which indicates people struggle with even simple tasks like opening a seatbelt amid the pressure of plane evacuations.

BA developed the programme at the request of oil giant BP, which often sends its staff into remote parts of the world where air safety measures can be less closely enforced.

The course involves learning skills such as how to release your seatbelt and locate a life jacket, and concludes with a simulated evacuation down the inflatable slides of an aircraft.

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