Getting up before the seat belt sign goes out

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This topic contains 64 replies, has 39 voices, and was last updated by  Inthesandpit 27 Jan 2013
at 06:48

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 65 total)

  • Anonymous


    Following on from the debate about chatting through the safety demonstration, I’d be interested in the views of those of you who are flight & cabin crew on typical passenger behaviour at the other end of flights. I’ve hardly ever been on one where nobody has got up until the seat belt sign has gone out, with accompanying chime. Once one passenger gets up then mass herd instinct sets in and within a second there are 100 others – in a way it gives some reassurance that they might actually manage to evacuate quickly should it be necessary!

    Engine shutdown seems to be the audible cue for many passengers that it is ok to get up. Why does the time between engine shutdown and the seat belt sign going off vary so much though? – surely the shutdown checklist of individual airlines or aircraft can’t vary that much in terms of the order. Once at BHX in a Flybe Q400 both engines were shut down but we waited about 5 minutes to be released, with no explanation from the flight or cabin crew.

    Is there a safety risk if the engines have been shut down, so the aircraft is clearly going no further forward on the stand, in getting up? Often the seat belt sign off & chime does effectively accompany engine shutdown which would seem sensible, otherwise it’s in reality a losing battle against passengers.

    I’ve known on Flybe for the cabin crew to remind passengers of the rule just as the aircraft approaches the stand, and on their smaller aircraft it does tend to be heeded. Can’t see it would be any use on a 3-3 layout A319 or larger though.


    I’m not crew, so perhaps I’m disqualified from answering, but for me the cue is the announcement from the cockpit, “cabin doors released” or something like that.

    My favourite seat is 1A so I’m amongst the first off anyway, but if at a Dock then I’ll stay in my seat till the aircraft doors are opened. If at a stand I’ll get up so I’m the first to exit so as to position myself where I want to be on the bus.


    LP, Id be very careful using that as your cue….afterall there are seatbelt signs above your head for a reason and when these go off, that is your one and only cue!

    Airlines like BA for example dont help themselves by having the “Doors to Manaul” PA made as the plane is still taxying into stand at speed. I have seen many passengers get sent flying down an aisle cos they stood up before the aircraft made that final break to a halt onstand. I have also for that matter seen crew members slam into bulkheads while they have been up disarming their doors!

    If passengers dont stand up at that point then they are sure to stand up when they hear the double ding-dong on the crew interphones which is made so the crew can communicate to eachother that their doors are indeed disarmed. Passengers often mistake this for the sound of the seatbelt sign switching off!!!! Again, this is where you should LOOK at the seatbelt sign above your head.

    At the end of the day no one is going anywhere until those doors are open. Standing up the first chance you get is not going to get you to that meeting any quicker. You paid for the seat so you may aswell enjoy it for a few moments longer!!!!


    My main concern is pax opening the overhead with gay abandon…..

    I have seen bottles of duty free craching down onto heads and seats , sometimes smashing in the process.

    Hence when seated in an aisle seat, I will always see if any person around me is about to open the overhead without due care and if they do this I will stand up immediately so as to protect myself from falling items.


    They should play this clip on the overhead monitors and it might encourage a few more to stay seated. with their seatbelts fastened. I don’t understand the compulsion of some to undo it even before the plane has stopped moving.

    And surely most people on a plane have flown before and realise that even when the seat belt sign goes off, there is at least one or two minutes before the doors open and anyone will move. I suppose some like standing half bent under the overhead bins.


    OK Guilty, I hold up my hands as I rush off the plane to get through immigration fast.
    That said I only do it when I know the airport and the gate. There are times the engines go off because it is a tow in in gate and getting up when the engines have stopped is dangerous. But when you have stopped moving, you can see the gateway moving towards you and the engines are switched off then I start to move.
    If you get up early or are visiting bathroom on take off (I always wait until at least 120 when the crew are released and make sure I am quick and brace myself on the to ,on the way back and during in case of chop) you have to take responsibility for your own safety and know what you are doing.
    I just wish when long haul planes landed so many passsengers were not so disorientated and slow to move. STanding in aisles fiddling with bags and totally oblivious ot others, the same as they waddle down the ganagway in the middle stopping anyone getting past.
    So I am guilty, I take responsibility for y own actions and wish some others were more aware of other people (this is particularly so when planes are late and people have tight connections.) I have been beckoned to the door on BA on the final stages of taxi (as first deplane last on 747) when I had tight connection and BA was late.
    This is not a condemnation of safety rules and I always wear seat belt when seated and obey cabin crew instructions. If they ask me sit back down I do. Helps on AA when many of them know me.


    In my experience, like allowing pax to talk over the safety brief, most airlines do not manage the end of the flight effectively, in fact most do not even try to.

    Managing the end of the flight could look like a PA during the taxi reminding people not to stand up until the belt sign is off, then CC stationed at the dividers between classes to tell people to sit down and also to manage the flow off the aircraft.

    When airlines do that, there will be more discpline – just look at deplaning on EK, EY, MS, etc, they do let people go by class and the process is more orderly, as a result.


    I have to agree. The management of disembarkation is pitiful.


    Well if everyone on the aircraft was well mannered and civil… Then everyone would be able to disembark in a civil manner …. I don’t see any reason or advantage to anyone crew. Managing disembarkation … If passengers can not act. As adults and need us to hold their hand then maybe they should stay at home

    And as far as I am concerned if passengers want to get up either in flight when signs are put on or when coming on stand and the signs are still on, then that’s fine, if they consider their life that uninportant great, but 2 things these inpatient people need to note
    A) you are not the only person on this aircraft, now let’s say you get up, either in flight or coming on to stand before the signs go off, and the aircrafts moves suddenly in turbulence or breaks stamped on… You fall or stumble, and fall on an elderly person,lady with baby, or even a child…nthe consequences could be a nightmare… So next time your thinking how important your meeting is,or your need for the toilet,think about who you might hurt getting their.

    The other final point is, they think that rules are there just because we want to make life hard, NO. But just remember who you will come running to for medical help when you have smacked your head open… The very same people who advised you to stay seated… And I for one would have to laugh at the situation, as you obliviously knew better….


    Mr Islay 28 years old,

    It is one of my biggest bugbears. I have been on flights on at least 4 occasions when people have stood up before the sign went off, only to find that we were not at the gate and the plane then lurched forward…

    On at least two of those occasions, it was apparent why “rules is rules”.



    This is now the second thread i have seen ymelord post and i can only hope he does not work in premium ba cabins as he comes across as no customer service. I would rather hear the objective comments of “honestcrew”.



    Irrespective of how many threads YmL has posted on, he’s speaking sense here.



    Yml does make sense, and while I enjoy the comments of honestcrew it’s nice to have another point of view even if a bit more “brutal”!

    But this does bring up an interesting point which is also a bugbear for me. From the moment you arrive at the airport if travelling F the airlines treat you like a king. Valet parking, dedicated check in, whisked through emigration and security, lounges and of course lots (usually) of pampering on board.

    When I arrive, I feel like Louis XVI, abandoned and thrown to the wolves as its every man for himself in the rush to get off and join an often hideously long immigration queue. Women and children count for nothing in the stampede of humanity rushing for that door!


    Yes batraveller I do work in both first and club… And my skills are well know to be top notch… However what I don’t do is bow down to passengers thinking that a) they are exempt from safety rules because they have paid loads b) they can talk to or order crew around like skives because of what cabin they are in c) do not consider the impact of there actions on the other few 100’s passengers who are on the a/c.

    As some one put somewhere else on this forum…. RULES ARE RULES… REGARDLESS OF YOUR STATUS/MONEY/CABIN

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