Safety instructions are a highlight of any trip. I always enjoy the gestures and specifically the expression in the faces when these instructions are given. Today most planes have a screen on almost every seat and the safety instructions are now also given in a multilingual movie. Yet the flight attendants still give a live demo. Why is that? The information is always identical to what is shown in the movie.

  • 1
    Pure speculation but I would guess regulations plus the ability to point to the exits, show where the masks would fall and how the life-vest actually looks like. You could also argue that the demo was never necessary as the information was always available on the card in the seat pocket but a live demo grabs attention and is more explicit than any representation (+1 to the question).
    – Relaxed
    Jan 6, 2014 at 15:34
  • 1
    "almost every", there's your answer. How might they give a live demo to only those seats without a screen?
    – AakashM
    Jan 6, 2014 at 15:42
  • 2
    I've certainly been on flights where the attendants do NOT do a live safety demo. Jan 6, 2014 at 16:42
  • 1
    @DJClayworth yes sure, my airlines do not do safety demos any more, only in screens.. Jan 6, 2014 at 17:06
  • 1
    Interest only: Perhaps the best 'presentation' I've seen is the Air NZ Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit video. Funny, attention grabbing and informative - and people MAY even remember what they were show about flight safety aspects. Prior Air NZ "All Blacks" video also good. Jan 7, 2014 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


Few reasons could be behind this:

  • Simply due to airline policy.
  • or to comply with the national civil aviation policy.
  • Some airlines think that passengers will indeed pay more attention to humans waving and smiling to them, so airlines still ask their cabin crews to perform the safety demonstration to make sure all passengers are briefed.
  • The main reason here is the different types of screens. Most seats will have seatbacks in font of them where they can install screens. That's not the case in first/business class and in the first row in each zone behind the bulkhead (behind middle lavatories for example). These seats have no seatbacks in front to install fixed screens, so airlines will install the stowable screens, the ones that need to unlatched to popup. This type of screens are not allowed to be used on ground. So if the plane has these kind of screens in some seats these passengers will not be briefed about the safety of the aircraft because the screens are stowed during that time, hence why the cabin crews will do the manual demonstration. Because the international policies require that all passengers onboard revenue flights to be briefed. Also, asking passengers to unlatch the screens before the demonstration and then asking them again to stow it back is not practical. Some airlines install large screens on bulkheads at the beginning of every zone to overcome this issue, so their cabin crews do not perform the manual demonstration.
  • The simplest reason is that you can't rely on screens. The may not be working. It has happened to me a few times. One time screens of the entire row were out of order.
    – ach
    Mar 23, 2015 at 12:34

You must log in to answer this question.