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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Two minutes of the safety demonstration could potentially save your life

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There is one element as passengers that we all go through, whether the flight you have boarded is for 30 minutes or 16 hours: The safety demonstration.

Commercial airlines are required by regulation to perform a safety demonstration prior to flight.

The use and location of emergency equipment and exits are covered. Either cabin crew members or video screens are used to complete it.

While the summary focuses on topics that seem to be common sense, the industry is aware that passengers rarely act logically in unusual emergency situations.

The pre-flight safety briefing’s safety components:

  • Seatbelt
  • Oxygen mask
  • Lifejacket
  • Emergency exits

The cabin crew will point out your closest exits because accidents have revealed unexpected behavioral patterns in passengers who have to evacuate, such as always going back to the door of the entrance rather than the closest exit.

It is also mentioned that the exit floor illumination directs passengers to the closest low-level exit, away from smoke and fumes inside the cabin, in low visibility.


Even the relatively simple task of releasing a seatbelt can become difficult in the dark when possibly tired and jet lagged, especially if fear sets in.

It is crucial to show passengers how to use the buckle since they frequently reach their side, much like they would in a car, to release their seatbelt.

Oxygen mask

Most airplanes maintain cabin pressure no higher than 8,000 feet. Hypoxia, or a shortage of oxygen, starts to affect the human body as it rises above 10,000 feet and if it persists, it can be fatal.

Oxygen masks will automatically drop from the overhead panels, above the seats, in the galleys, and in the restrooms once the cabin altitude exceeds 14,000 feet.

Passengers are required to be familiar with how to use and operate the masks for themselves, even if it is a very unlikely occurrence. The body has around 30 seconds at an altitude of 35,000 feet before hypoxia prevents it from doing even the most basic activities.

Since the oxygen system only lasts for around 10 minutes, the airplane has ample time to descend to a lower altitude where everyone can breathe normally.


Following a hijacking, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 ditched into the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Comoros islands in 1996.

The majority of the passengers, despite surviving the initial collision, had inflated their life jackets inside the aircraft, becoming trapped and dying as a result of being unable to find an exit.

The lifejacket’s features, which include a toggle to inflate after exiting, a tube in case manual inflation is necessary, along with a lamp and a whistle, must be shown by the cabin crew.

Emergency exits

Every second matters when an actual emergency arises or when up to 600 passengers must be evacuated through a small number of airplane doors, some of which may not be operational.

The two minutes it takes to listen to the safety demonstration could potentially save your life because it is designed to help passengers quickly recall potentially life-saving information.

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