Pre-flight safety demonstration

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A Royal Australian Air Force Aircraftswoman demonstrating the use of an oxygen mask during a pre-flight safety demonstration on board an Australian Airbus A330 MRTT

The pre-flight safety demonstration (also known as a pre-flight briefing, in-flight safety demonstration, safety instructions, or simply the safety video) is a detailed explanation given before takeoff to airline passengers about the safety features of a commercial aircraft.

On smaller aircraft this may take place in the form of a live briefing performed by flight attendants standing up in the aisles, while another flight attendant narrates over the public address system. Smaller regional jets and turboprops, where there may be only one flight attendant sometimes use recorded narration accompanying a live demonstration. On many larger aircraft equipped with in-flight entertainment, safety demonstrations may take place in the form of a video, which typically lasts 2 to 6 minutes. In consideration for travelers not speaking the airline's official language and for the passengers with hearing problems, the video may feature subtitles, an on-screen signer, or may be repeated in another language. Some safety videos are made using three-dimensional graphics.[1]

By 2009 several airlines had striven to make distinctive safety videos. Many safety videos were uploaded to YouTube.[2][3] Cebu Pacific choreographed the entire demonstration to Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" and Katy Perry's "California Gurls" as an experiment during one of their flights.[4] The flight attendant featured in the most recent Delta Air Lines video has become an internet celebrity known as Deltalina.

If an emergency happens once airborne, flight attendants are trained to calmly brief passengers with emergency procedures quickly.[citation needed]

Required elements[edit]

Safety demonstrations are required by the basic international air safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and national civil aviation authorities. A safety demonstration typically covers all these aspects, not necessarily in this order:

  • demonstrating or telling passengers that the safety card shows the brace position and must be adopted on hearing the "Brace" command during an emergency landing. (sometimes called the safety position]. (not required in the United States and other certain Countries)
  • the use of the seat belt. Some airlines recommend or require that passengers keep their seatbelt fastened at all times in case of unexpected turbulence.
  • the requirement that passengers must comply with lighted signs, posted placards, and crew members instructions (Generally only included in safety demonstrations on Australian, New Zealand, and American carriers as the CASA (AU), CAA (NZ) and FAA (US) require it to be stated). Most other airlines only include the seatbelt and no smoking signs.
  • the location and use of the emergency exits, evacuation slides and emergency floor lighting
    • that all passengers should locate their nearest exit, which may be behind them
  • the requirements for sitting in an emergency exit row (varies by country and airline), in the United States it must also be stated that exit row passengers may be required to assist the crew in an evacuation.
  • that all passengers must leave all carry on bags behind during an evacuation
  • the use of the oxygen mask (not included on some turboprops which do not fly high enough to need supplemental oxygen in a decompression emergency) with associated reminders:
    • that the passenger should always fit his or her own mask before helping children, the disabled, or persons requiring assistance.
    • that even though oxygen will be flowing to the mask, the plastic bag may not inflate (required in the United States after a woman fatally removed her mask thinking it was not working). Some planes such as the Boeing 787 does not include Plastic Bags in the oxygen masks.
  • the location and use of the life vests, life rafts and flotation devices (not always included if the flight does not overfly or fly near vast masses of water although is required by the FAA (US) on any aircraft equipped with life vests)
  • the use of passenger seat cushions as flotation devices (typically only included on aircraft that do not provide life vests)
  • reminders -
    • that smoking is not allowed on board, including in the lavatories (is illegal on Emirates and Air Canada Rouge) (some airlines also ban electronic cigarettes[5]).
    • that federal law prohibits tampering with, disabling or destroying lavatory smoke detectors
    • that the use of mobile phones is not allowed during flight, unless placed in "airplane mode" or the wireless capability is turned off
    • that laptops and other electronics may only be used once the aircraft is at cruising altitude and the Captain turns off the fasten seat-belt sign.
    • that passengers must ask a flight attendant prior to using electronics
    • that seatbacks and tray tables should be in their upright and locked position, headrest stowed, and carry-on luggage stowed in the overhead locker or underneath a seat prior to takeoff.
    • to review the safety information card prior to takeoff or to follow along during the demonstration.


  1. ^ "TAM." Pixel Labs. Retrieved on February 25, 2009.
  2. ^ Montgomery, Bill. "Who needs clothes in an airline safety video?." Houston Chronicle. June 30, 2009. Retrieved on July 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "Nudity, cartoons grab air travelers' attention." CNN. Friday July 31, 2009. Retrieved on August 26, 2009.
  4. ^ "This will keep the seat backs in an upright position: Cabin crew perform in-flight safety demo... while dancing to Lady Gaga." Daily Mail. October 3, 2010. Retrieved on December 3, 2010.
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Pre-flight safety demonstration at Wikimedia Commons

Airline safety videos[edit]

Live demonstrations[edit]