Passenger safety briefings: why, when and how

Review what to include in passenger safety briefings and how to address common issues than can arise.

On this page

Why brief passengers

Safety briefings explain where to find and how to use emergency equipment passengers may have to operate. In an emergency, a well-briefed passenger will depend less on crew members and have a greater chance of survival.

When to do a briefing

Each time your plane carries passengers.

Make sure a passenger with special needs receives an individual safety briefing. Examples include visually impaired passengers, hearing-impaired passengers and adults with infants.

How to make your briefings effective

What to include

Each briefing should address:

  • boarding
  • baggage limits and where to stow baggage
  • how seat belts work
  • the importance of using shoulder harnesses (if your plane is equipped with them)
  • how to secure seat backs
  • how to know where you are in the plane no matter its position:
    • Find the exit in relation to your left or right knee
    • If the exit is on your right while you’re upright, it will still be on your right even if the aircraft lands or comes to rest in another position
  • how to use exits
  • where to find the emergency locator transmitter, survival kit, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and any other safety equipment
  • rules about using electronic devices (tablets, cell phones)
  • where to find and how to use life preservers:
    • Show how to put a preserver on and inflate it, and explain when to do this
    • Wear it, but never inflate it in the aircraft
  • rules about smoking
  • how to exit a plane when under water (underwater egress)
  • what happens after takeoff
  • what to do during in-flight turbulence
  • how to exit the plane safely (passenger deplaning)

Know these topics

How to exit a plane when under water (underwater egress)

Always review underwater egress with passengers. Give these instructions:

  • Try to remain calm
  • Take a deep breath prior to going under water
  • Open your eyes
  • Orient yourself in relation to your nearest emergency exit
  • Get a firm grip on a fixed reference point
  • Wait until the water has filled three-quarters of the cabin before you fully open the exit, then open it
  • Release your safety harness
  • Pull yourself free from the cabin
  • Inflate your life preserver after exiting the aircraft

Solutions to common problems

Problems:

  • You don’t have a public address system
  • Cabin noise makes it impossible for passengers to hear
  • Short flights leave no time for in-flight briefing

Solution: do the entire briefing before engine start-up. For example, before you fly, tell your passengers that they:

  • must have their seat belts fastened during takeoff, landing and turbulence
  • should always use their shoulder harness (if there is one), and
  • should keep seat belts fastened during the cruise portion of flight

Problem: Passengers seem uninterested.

Solution: make the briefing informative and interesting. Face your passengers, establish eye contact and speak at a slower-than-normal rate.

Problem: Passengers ask you to skip the briefing.

Solution: say no. Frequent fliers may not know that equipment can be different on the same type of aircraft. Not only does a safety briefing ensure your passengers know what’s expected of them, it’s the law.

Related links

Did you find this information helpful?

Date modified: