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 have 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:

  • 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).
  • that smoking is not allowed on board, including in the lavatories
  • that federal law prohibits tampering with, disabling or destroying lavatory smoke detectors (required verbatim in the United States - similar warnings in most other countries)
  • that the use of mobile phones is not allowed during flight, unless placed in "flight safe 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.
  • in Canada, that passengers must ask a flight attendant prior to using electronics, and the use of external accessories (hard drives, mice, keyboards, printers, etc...) are not permitted.
  • that seatbacks and tray tables should be in their upright and locked position 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.


  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.

External links[edit]

Airline safety videos[edit]

Live demonstrations[edit]