Safety Demonstration

Basic of Air Travel: Airplane Safety Demonstration

Now that you’re buckled up in your seat and the plane is pushing back, there’s one more bit of community activity that has to be taken care of before you can read your book or close your eyes for a little nap — the safety demonstration.

Whether played on a video screen or done in person by the Flight Attendants, the safety demonstration is federally mandated and must be done prior to every takeoff.  Yes, yes, I know that you’ve heard it a million times before, and yes, I’ve demonstrated in two million times before, but since it has to be done, it seems like a good time for us all to try to get along just for a little bit longer.

united airlines lockheed l-1011 safety card (With images) | United ...

While I recommend putting aside your reading material and halting your conversation for a few minutes (that’s what I do when I travel), I realize that many of you won’t choose to follow that advice.  So, at the very least, here are some behaviors you can avoid:

  • Don’t keep trying to talk louder than the audio safety announcement (recorded or live), hoping you can drown out the noise.  There may be people around you that do want to listen to the announcement, so just sit quietly until its finished.  It only seems to go on forever; in reality, it only takes two minutes of your time.
  • Don’t stand up and get into the overhead bins or go to use the lavatory.  This behavior necessitates a call to the flight deck, as the plane is not permitted to move while any passenger is standing.  If it’s an emergency, ring your flight attendant call button.  If not, ask for assistance when we are through with the demo, or wait until we are in the air.
  • Don’t ring the call button for non-essential items.  Once the aircraft has pushed back, Flight Attendants are on a short time schedule to perform the required safety duties and get seated.  While we’ll be happy to get you a pillow, blanket, or beverage a bit later, at this point safety tasks come first.
  • Don’t pull out your cell phone/PDA to make one last call or send off one last text message.  At this point in the take-off process, all electronics need to be turned off.  We need your compliance (no matter how silly you think the rule may be), and if we’re not getting it, the captain may decide to return to the gate and have you removed from the flight.  Don’t be the person that’s holding up the process.
  • Don’t act out the safety demonstration along with us, and expect us to think you’re funny.  The only time this has been funny (in over 20 years of flying) was when the marching band for one of the local universities was onboard.  They acted out the demonstration along with us, using coordinated motions and props that they had with them.  THAT was entertaining, well-choreographed, and funny!

You’ve been through a lot by this point, and while it may have seemed like you were never going to get underway, all that is about to change.  We’re taxiing out and take-off is imminent.

If you’re following on with our Basics of Air Travel series, read more about more facts of plane travel below.

  1. Checking in From Home
  2. Get to the Airport on Time
  3. Checking & Carrying on Luggage
  4. Getting Through Security – Planning
  5. Airport Security – Rules & Etiquette
  6. Getting to Your Departure Gate
  7. Boarding the Plane & Stowing Your Bags
  8. Turning Off Your Electronic Devices
  9. Safety Demonstration
  10. Beverage Service
  11. Airplane Etiquette
  12. Descent
  13. Landing & Deplaning
  14. Leaving the Airport

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