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dfwjim1
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Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:42 pm

I have flown on numerous flights over the years and I have found that flight attendants rarely enforce the "please be seated and put on your seat belt" announcement when turbulence is encountered; in fact I can only remember one flight where a flight attendant made people sit down and stay seated when turbulence was encountered. So, why are flight attendants so lax in enforcing this matter? Are they afraid of confrontation or is it a matter of not caring about their passengers? Or is there some other reason?

BTW, I am referring to domestic flights within the United States as that is where I have flown 80% of the time. Thanks for your responses.
 
GT4EZY
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:46 pm

Crew at my airline are fairly strict and I find generally speaking that short haul crews are. Long haul it seems, like you say, that people are allowed to just wander.
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FlyHossD
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:48 pm

I think they just get worn out by the passengers who ignore the signs and warnings.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
WNCrew
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:50 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
So, why are flight attendants so lax in enforcing this matter? Are they afraid of confrontation or is it a matter of not caring about their passengers? Or is there some other reason?

It's certainly not that FA's don't care (at least I've never met a FA who doesn't care).

I don't think FA's are afraid of confrontation etc, it's more that we CAN'T enforce it. What should we do? Walk someone back to their seat? Often in the Cabin Crew world you'll hear "We inform not enforce".. personally I loathe that statement because we DO enforce some things, but there really aren't any consequences to pax being up with the SFB Sign on except perhaps they get hurt. We can really only remind pax that they should be seated. There's no other way to enforce it.

With almost all airlines offering some form of IFE, or pax bringing their own, most people simply do not pay attention to their surroundings. It does drive me nuts when everyone's seated, the signs are OFF and then suddenly it gets bumpy and the Captain turns on the signs and asks everyone to stay seated and 5 people get up. BUT, what can I do about it? Nothing really except repeat his/her announcement. People will do what they will do and they know (at least in the US) that they can... because they're entitled to.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Brick
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:57 pm

My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign. I have had so many flights that we experience a single, slight bump and the light immediately comes on and stays on for the remainder of the flight. Because of this, I believe over time this has trained both crew and passengers to take the illuminated sign with a grain of salt.

[Edited 2015-01-21 09:00:03]
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ozark1
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:19 pm

This is a very interesting topic. In the past, especially if they are in need of the lavatory, I have told them that they are up at their own risk. I mean, if they must use the facilities, are they supposed to defecate in the seat? I am talking about no turbulence. If it is turbulent I will tell them to sit down immediately. Usually however, in smooth conditions, when the pilots put the seat belt sign on in preparation for landing, everyone gets up for the bathroom. In the manual it does clearly state that they cannot be up when the seat belt sign is on and if they ignore repeated instructions to do so, the captain needs to be notified. Problem is, when this happens prior to landing, it is sterile cockpit, and we aren't supposed to contact them except in an emergency. In 99% of the cases, they are back in their seats prior to "Prepare For Landing". It is true, that if we enforced this all the time, we would be telling 50 or 60 people to sit down on every flight. I am serious about that number.
 
silentbob
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:36 pm

Legally, an FA can't stop you from using the bathroom in pretty much any weather conditions. Otherwise, they just make an announcement that "you must be seated with your seatbelt fastened when the sign is illuminated."

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 2):

I think they just get worn out by the passengers who ignore the signs and warnings.

I would guess that is a factor in a lot of cases.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 5):
Usually however, in smooth conditions, when the pilots put the seat belt sign on in preparation for landing, everyone gets up for the bathroom.

I always find that funny. Fasten seat belt sign turns on, 25 people get up and head to the bathroom.
 
usflyguy
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:36 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
So, why are flight attendants so lax in enforcing this matter?

Crew members are informers, not enforcers. They inform you to do something and if you don't you are on your own. If it is something illegal, they notify the authorities and they take action. You get caught smoking, they turn you in and the proper authorities take action. They inform you to sit down during turbulence and you don't, you are on your own when you get hurt.

Quoting dfwjim1 (Thread starter):
Are they afraid of confrontation or is it a matter of not caring about their passengers? Or is there some other reason?

People know what a seat belt sign is and they know they are not supposed to be up, besides telling someone to sit down when it is on, what else should the flight crews do? Restrain them and forcefully make them sit? Have seat belts that you can not unlock without a key that only the flight attendants have (Cya in an emergency when you are stuck in your seat.)?

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):
My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign. I have had so many flights that we experience a single, slight bump and the light immediately comes on and stays on for the remainder of the flight.

Because in the US people have a tendency to sue for every little thing. Common sense would tell you to sit down and fasten your seat belt when turbulence is experienced but most people, when flying, lack common sense... they get hurt and then they sue the airline because they were idiots.

I think the better questions is why can't those in the general public that don't follow directions be more respectful to the crew members and follow the rules? Is it that hard to look up and see if the seat belt sign is on? If it comes on while you are up and about, why do you need to be told to sit back down and buckle your seat belt?
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
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kanban
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:49 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 7):
Crew members are informers, not enforcers

while this may be true, when a non compliant passenger is injured, the first cry is "They didn't tell me personally to fasten it, I'm suing"..

on the other side how many crew ave been injured trying to get reluctant entitled passengers to comply?
 
32andBelow
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:52 pm

You mean when the crew leaves the seatbelt sign on until the exact moment they make their lap to sell PTV's and headphones and stuff
 
luvfa
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:54 pm

As WN Crew puts it! We are there to inform not enforce!
 
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aerolimani
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:23 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 9):
You mean when the crew leaves the seatbelt sign on until the exact moment they make their lap to sell PTV's and headphones and stuff

I think it's more that the crew is also supposed to remain seated until the aircraft finishes its initial climb out on takeoff. They're just doing their job at the first available moment.

Quoting luvfa (Reply 10):
As WN Crew puts it! We are there to inform not enforce!

And yet, disobeying any directive, of any member of the crew, is quite sufficient for you to be arrested upon arrival. Heck, if you're bad enough, they'll divert the plane to get rid of you sooner!

In Canada, I find that AC and WS seem to strongly enforce this, mostly by giving stern looks. Ha! I don't fliy in the US much, but I was on a Delta Connection flight recently, and they were also quite strict, especially when we encountered some mild turbulence. Worst of all, though, was the hour we spent sitting on the ground at LAX, after landing, waiting for a gate. Because we were still technically taxiing, nobody was allowed to go anywhere, despite the fact we didn't move for about 45 minutes straight.
 
GT4EZY
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:28 pm

Whilst a few crew are like Hitler, I don't subscribe to the this "inform not enforce". Crew are there to enforce and they are there to enforce on behalf of the commander. Pax are legally obliged to conform.
In these situations however you have to use your common sense. If you are on the climb out and a pax attempts to use the toilet. Ask them to sit down. If they use it when the seat belt sign is on and you're in the cruise, crew should really use their discretion. Most of the time it's prudent to just point out that the sign is on. Equally, when the sign is on for turbulence I will ask pax to sit down if they are trying to get into the overhead lockers.

[Edited 2015-01-21 10:28:53]
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OA412
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:42 pm

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 3):
It's certainly not that FA's don't care (at least I've never met a FA who doesn't care).

I don't think FA's are afraid of confrontation etc, it's more that we CAN'T enforce it.

This. Several years ago, I was flying DL JFK-ATH, and passengers on that flight were particularly bad. The turbulence ranged from light to moderate, and A LOT of passengers kept ignoring the seatbelt sign and just walked around the cabin. The captain finally had to come over the PA and remind everyone that the fasten seat belt sign was on for a reason, and they needed to sit down!
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kanban
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:28 pm

Quoting aerolimani (Reply 11):
And yet, disobeying any directive, of any member of the crew, is quite sufficient for you to be arrested upon arrival. Heck, if you're bad enough, they'll divert the plane to get rid of you sooner!

that's part of the contradiction of inform vs enforce..

unfortunately nobody wants to be the "enforcer" even when it jeopardizes others so they play these stupid "we just inform" games..
 
32andBelow
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:34 pm

Those FA's don't have special abilities. If it's safe to move a 100lb cart around it's safe to go to the bathroom.
 
FLY2LIM
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:03 pm

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 12):
Whilst a few crew are like Hitler

They murder people based on their ethnic and religious background? I'm sorry, poor analogy for someone who is strict.
FLY2LIM
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silentbob
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:06 pm

Quoting luvfa (Reply 10):
We are there to inform not enforce!

Some people misunderstand that. It's not that they do not require you to comply with their directives, simply that they can not physically force you to do it.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:25 pm

In NZ during the part of the briefing that talks about the seatbelt sign they clearly state it's recommended to keep it fastened throughout the flight just in case. And from what I can hear when flying most people never remove the seatbelt unless they're going to the loo or at the end when leaving the plane.

Also it's always clearly stated during the briefing that it's a crime to ignore instructions from the flight crew. So I think people are pretty good at doing as they're told.

It's weird to hear that in the US that people have the 'right' to ignore these instructions as they're there not only for your safety but also the safety of those around you. It isn't like I can move away from you if I see you with an unbuckled seatbelt during turbulence.
 
lancelot07
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:44 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 18):

In NZ during the part of the briefing that talks about the seatbelt sign they clearly state it's recommended to keep it fastened throughout the flight just in case. And from what I can hear when flying most people never remove the seatbelt unless they're going to the loo or at the end when leaving the plane.

Same in Europe.
Most airlines recommend to stay buckled up all the time.
When I am in my seat, i never remove the belt. Why should I ? It is not inconvenient.
 
32andBelow
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:45 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 18):

In NZ during the part of the briefing that talks about the seatbelt sign they clearly state it's recommended to keep it fastened throughout the flight just in case. And from what I can hear when flying most people never remove the seatbelt unless they're going to the loo or at the end when leaving the plane.

Also it's always clearly stated during the briefing that it's a crime to ignore instructions from the flight crew. So I think people are pretty good at doing as they're told.

It's weird to hear that in the US that people have the 'right' to ignore these instructions as they're there not only for your safety but also the safety of those around you. It isn't like I can move away from you if I see you with an unbuckled seatbelt during turbulence.

This isn't generally the issue. The issue is people needing to go to the bathroom while the seatbelt sign is on for the majority of the flight.
 
Kashmon
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:14 pm

I know your referring to US

but CX is OTT about people sitting down

on one flight the FA's would look into the aisle - observe the race and then make a corresponding announcements

Hindi/Chinese/Cantonese in continuous rotation...

and this was not on a flight to India or from it.
 
flyfitch
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:27 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 15):

True, but a part of this is that the legal ramifications could be much worse if a pax gets hurt and tries to sue the company. If a FA gets hurt during work, the company could pay out workmans comp but it would likely not become a legal issue, as it almost certainly would if a passenger hurt themselves.

FA's are also sometimes under a lot of pressure to get out in the aisles and do service even if it is a bit bumpy... otherwise a passenger tweets to the company that they haven't been served yet...
 
32andBelow
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:30 pm

Quoting flyfitch (Reply 22):
True, but a part of this is that the legal ramifications could be much worse if a pax gets hurt and tries to sue the company. If a FA gets hurt during work, the company could pay out workmans comp but it would likely not become a legal issue, as it almost certainly would if a passenger hurt themselves

Well I think at the end of the day, the sign is on, and the announcement is made. If you try to sue they will have that evidence against you.
 
wwtraveler99
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:39 pm

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 12):
Pax are legally obliged to conform.
In these situations however you have to use your common sense. If you are on the climb out and a pax attempts to use the toilet. Ask them to sit down. If they use it when the seat belt sign is on and you're in the cruise, crew should really use their discretion. Most of the time it's prudent to just point out that the sign is on. Equally, when the sign is on for turbulence I will ask pax to sit down if they are trying to get into the overhead lockers.

The first problem with this is that most people do not use/have common sense. Second, FAs can only inform passengers to sit down. They are required to make that announcement when passengers do get up with the SB sign on. They do not have the option to allow or stop them from being up. If the seat belt sign comes on then under the FAs manual they must inform the passenger about the seat belt sign being on. The reason carriers in the US keep the sign on more often than not is for liability. As others have said people here sue for any and every thing.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 15):
Those FA's don't have special abilities. If it's safe to move a 100lb cart around it's safe to go to the bathroom.

You are very correct that they do not have special abilities BUT under the rules per FAA they are allow to be up in order to perform their duties. If they are injured during turbulence I am sure they are covered by the company. Many times though in the US the pilot will ask the FAs to sit down as well for their own safety. Even when that is the case I have seen many times people don't think that applies to them.


Until someone gets seriously injured I don't think the FAs will ever be "enforcers" of the seat belt sign.


WW
 
canyonblue17
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:27 pm

I personally have had to take flight attendents to the hospital because of injuries incurred while standing or working during turbulence. One sprained their neck and another broke an ankle after first hitting the ceiling and then hitting the floor. It happened in 2 seconds, and yes the pilot had the seatbelt sign on, but the attendents were up trying to assist passengers. I never take the seatbelt sign lightly. Why take the chance. Most of the time it is on after the pilots have received notice from other flights ahead of them, reports from air traffic control or notice from their own company. This info is never perfect, so I believe most crews error on the side of caution. Why wouldn't they?
negative ghostrider the pattern is full
 
Skisandy
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:32 pm

I fly to/from South America regularly on 8-10 hour flights and TAM
has the sensible policy "seatbelt on" when turbulence is present or forecast,
and "seatbelt off" otherwise.

ALL American carriers put the seatbelt on after the first bump an hour into the flight and leave it
on for the rest of the flight, 7-9 hours, even if the entire flight is smooth.

Of course people need to go to the restroom sometimes ( actually, there is very little
movement, as the flights are night flights). The Catch-22 situation is: Should anything happen -
it will be the traveler's fault, because of disobeying the seatbelt sign.

But the fact is that it is impossible that no-one uses the restroom on a 200-250 seat aircraft during a long flight.

So - the airlines lawyers are happy.

What's so nasty about this policy is - that because the seatbelt sign is ALWAYS ON - it is now impossible
for the person using the restroom to know whether turbulence is actually coming up......

The laziness of these pilots and the policies of the airline lawyers actually have made it more dangerous
for the flying public to simply use the restroom, because:

A. The customer is always wrong (disobeying the sign), and

B. No warning for turbulence is ever given, since the sign is always on anyway.

I think this is really bad policy.
 
32andBelow
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:35 pm

I have spoken to pilots who just tend to leave it on since it is easier. When there is a PIREP for real turbulence the captain makes an announcement and everyone can tell it is serious. If they stop selling stuff-serious. If they keep selling stuff-not serious.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:43 pm

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):
My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign.

This. I remember flying DFW-LHR-DFW not too long ago out with AA return with BA. AA keeps the seatbelt sign on until they reach cruise, BA turns it off at 10,000 feet. BA only turns on the seat belt sign when there there is convection due to weather or extended light CAT. AA turns it on at any bump.

Ive given up on flying domestic carriers overseas anyway so I dont have to deal with it unless Im flying domestic or South America.

Quoting Skisandy (Reply 26):
I fly to/from South America regularly on 8-10 hour flights and TAM
has the sensible policy "seatbelt on" when turbulence is present or forecast,
and "seatbelt off" otherwise.

And believe me, flight between North and South America is almost always turbulent for a solid four hours. Ive never had, what I would call, a smooth ride bewteen the US and South America. Its not as bad going to LIM or SCL, but going to Brazil its always rocky.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
aklrno
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:49 pm

Sure, when the plane is bouncing around we should all stay seated. Or if the crew knows that the bouncing is about to ensue we should be told to get strapped in. But we all know that there are other issues here.

I was once on a flight serenely crossing the Atlantic with the seatbelt sign on for 2 hours. It was calm in my cabin, so I asked why the sign was on. I was told that there were some teenagers in the back amped up by an audience with the Pope(!) so the sign was put on to calm things down.

Several times I have seen the sign put on to help with food and drink carts in the aisle. I have seen it put on for some pretty minor rattles, and left on because they forgot to turn it off.

I'm getting older now, and I can't wait hours between trips to the toilet any more. I make sure to use it before boarding, but I can only last so long. Unnecessary use of the seat belt sign causes problems. Years ago I was told by my doctor to either sit in the aisle seat on long flights or get over my reluctance to bother other passengers to get up every couple of hours. It was causing health issues. I just can't wait forever.

Do you want me to be arrested because I used the toilet? Then make sure the sign is only used when it has to be used. And recognize the difference between "light chop" and severe turbulence. If its safe enough for the crew to be up, its probably safe for my emergency toilet visit.

On my last couple of NZ flights the crew announced about 20 minutes before the beginning of descent that "now would be the time to use the toilets". I've heard that on a few US flights, but not many. I know enough to expect the seatbelt sign to go on about 20 minutes before landing, but not everyone knows when that point has been reached. How about ALL airlines making that announcement?
 
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spinkid
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:08 am

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):
My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign. I have had so many flights that we experience a single, slight bump and the light immediately comes on and stays on for the remainder of the flight. Because of this, I believe over time this has trained both crew and passengers to take the illuminated sign with a grain of salt.

You hit the nail on the head here. The sign is way overused on most flights I take in the U.S. I suspect the cockpit keeps it on to keep people seated during the drink service.

Eventually you just can't wait anymore and you have to get up.

I always keep my belt on when seated
 
DDR
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:30 am

I think it's silly that a passenger can sue an airline for being injured in turbulence. It's not the airline's fault. It's a natural phenomena.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:56 am

My rule of thumb is if the flight attendants are seated, stay seated and dont get up. If the flight attendents are still walking around but the seat belt sign is on, Ill get up if I need to.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
815Oceanic
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:55 am

On Philippine Airlines, every jitter they turn on the sign. The FAs all immediately stop what they are doing and sit down after making an announcement. I had one FA demand a passenger sit down during landing. Strict, but safe!
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:04 am

I can't nail them to their seats. I advise them of the requirement--if they choose to ignore it and are hurt in turbulence I document, document, document. A few years ago we had a passenger sue us because she was injured in turbulence because she ignored the signs and at least four f/a personal warnings. The judge listened to the testimony, verified that the passenger had chosen to ignore the safety warnings and the verdict was "Not a dime. AND you get court costs."
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
Jetstar315
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:05 am

Airlines based in New Zealand and Australia are VERY strict on passengers being seated with belts fastened when the sign is on, and so they should be! People who ignore their instructions are not only putting themselves at risk of injury, but also deliberately putting passengers who have complied, at risk too. A passenger walking in the aisle in heavy turbulence could easily hit the roof and come down on a passenger who is seated with their belt fastened. If I was a seated passenger under these circumstances and I got injured, I'd sue the pants off the idiot who landed on me and injured me. That would not be the airline's fault, it would be the fault of the individual who CHOSE not to comply!
 
usflyguy
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:18 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 14):
unfortunately nobody wants to be the "enforcer" even when it jeopardizes others so they play these stupid "we just inform" games..

What exactly should the cabin crew do? Get physical and physically restrain someone? Tie the offender down to the seat? How do you envision a crew member enforcing someone to sit in their seat and buckle up beside informing them that they need to sit down?

Quoting silentbob (Reply 17):
Some people misunderstand that. It's not that they do not require you to comply with their directives, simply that they can not physically force you to do it.

Eactly... what do people expect the cabin crew members to do to someone that doesn't sit down? Does it require the offender to be tackled and restrained with handcuffs? Pig tied?

Quoting spinkid (Reply 30):
You hit the nail on the head here. The sign is way overused on most flights I take in the U.S. I suspect the cockpit keeps it on to keep people seated during the drink service.

The seatbelt sign has nothing to do with cabin service, at least not at my airline.

Quoting Jetstar315 (Reply 35):
If I was a seated passenger under these circumstances and I got injured, I'd sue the pants off the idiot who landed on me and injured me. That would not be the airline's fault, it would be the fault of the individual who CHOSE not to comply!

and you, my friend, are not an American because here in America, the lawyers would go after both the other passenger and the airline to get as much money as they could.
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
ScottB
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:34 am

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):
My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign. I have had so many flights that we experience a single, slight bump and the light immediately comes on and stays on for the remainder of the flight. Because of this, I believe over time this has trained both crew and passengers to take the illuminated sign with a grain of salt.

This is absolutely true. And even when the seat belt sign is on due to light chop, the ride is less bumpy than on the city bus which has no seat belts.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 32):
My rule of thumb is if the flight attendants are seated, stay seated and dont get up.

My rule of thumb is that if the pilots make an announcement for the flight attendants to be seated, then it's probably wise to stay seated.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:02 am

I thought I'd have a bit of fun and see if it's in the NZ legislation.

Yup. If you ignore an instruction from a crew member to be seated or ignore the seatbelt sign you can be fined up to $2,500 in NZ. I have no idea if anyone has ever been fined, but it is there.

http://legislation.govt.nz/act/publi...40deemedreg_airline_resel_25_h&p=1

Civil Aviation Act 1990
65M Non-compliance with seating and seatbelt instructions

(1) Every person commits an offence who fails to comply with an instruction given by a crew member, passenger information signs, or placards to—

(a) occupy a seat or berth; and

(b) fasten and keep fastened about the person any installed safety belt or safety harness.

(2) Every person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,500.
 
Jetstar315
Posts: 157
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:38 am

I think that the big difference here in NZ and Australia, is that it is an offence NOT to obey the instructions of the crew
and therefore if passengers refuse to comply, the flight attendants can report them to the NZ Civil Aviation Authority or CASA in Australia, and the offender/s would be charged in court!
 
s5daw
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:58 am

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):

My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign. I have had so many flights that we experience a single, slight bump and the light immediately comes on and stays on for the remainder of the flight. Because of this, I believe over time this has trained both crew and passengers to take the illuminated sign with a grain of salt.

Which really sucks, because as a passenger you can't tell if there really is something bigger ahead or not.
I'd hate to be surprised by severe turbulence while on the toilet.
 
mark2fly1034
Posts: 251
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:39 am

I flew on VA from JNB-LHR and they were the most strict I have seen with the seatbelt sign. They would walk up the isle checking to see if your seat belt was on every time.
 
TomFoolery
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:43 am

I know that there is the requirement to inform the passengers that 'Federal Law requires all passengers to abide by all placards (signage), lighted signs (seat belt, no smoking, electronic devices, etc) and crew member instructions.

It has been my experience that unless folks are in line to use the toilet, most crew will remind them that the seat belt sign is on. Going over the Rockies, where there is often a bit of rough air, the seatbelt lights will come on, and often an announcement if they really seem to mean it.

I am curious if all the reminders in the world have any impact on the settlement payout when an injury does occur.

I know that procedures call for certain actions- announcements following illumination of seatbelt sign, however. I am curious if there is any documentation that such announcements are made, which will serve as evidence that the crew in fact fulfilled this requirement.

Note that even if it is not a Fed requirement, if a documented procedure exists, and it is not followed, it becomes a finding. If a procedure is not followed, or no evidence exists that a required action was taken, it could weaken the case for compliance on the part of the carrier.
Paper makes an airplane fly
 
chrcaremanav
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:45 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:17 pm

Hi! How are You? What I do not like during a flight when I was on one and watching flights on YouTube, People do not listen to the directives and guides that the Flight Attendants are conveying to the Passengers, The Passengers are talking at the same time and do not listen, talking to a Fmaily Member or the Passenger next to Their seats and what is it to shut up a few minutes in Your lifetime and respect others who are conveying something important to You and the respect of the Flight Attendants doing Their job, the best They can and to listen not talking at the same time. But in Society now there is a lot of unrespectful People and narcissism too, it is all about me, but the others no.
I feel for the Flight Attendants and They have my very highest regards and respect and You are very good People who has the caring and the love for the Passengers at Heart, so I encourage and support You to do the best as You can to enforce or inform and stay firm and truthful. I care about You all Flight Attendants and Pilots and Passengers. Please do not ignore the directives and the rules of law, it is easier that way for everyone. There is always exceptions but nonetheless. Thanks for reading and take good care and have a super day. Be safe all of You everywhere You may be.
 
EMB170
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:16 pm

I agree about US based carriers tending to be a little more liberal with use of the seatbelt sign...but on the flip side, I've seen EU carriers be a little lax about it as well. Two rides come to mind...EWR-CDG on AF and ORD-MUC on LH where (especially on the LH flight) there was a little bit of sustained bumping around and no sign. Granted, it ultimately leveled off again, but still...

OTOH, I was flying US (actually YX) on an E175 PHL-IND. Not one bump, yet they kept the seatbelt sign on the entire way.

Regardless, while I keep my belt fastened when seated, I take my cue from the flight attendants. If they're up and moving about the aisles, and I have to use the lav, I'll get up and go, even if the seatbelt sign is on. If the captain requests that they stop their work and fasten their seatbelts, then I know it's pretty serious.

I do believe that when foreign carriers turn on the seatbelt sign midflight, they tend not to unless they really mean it. Which is why often times you'll hear during safety videos (or during a separate announcement) that if you're going to sleep, make sure to fasten your seatbelt on the outside of your blanket so the flight attendants don't have to wake you in order to check that you're belted in.
IND ORD ATL MCO PIT EWR BUF CVG DEN RNO JFK DTW BOS BDL BWI IAD RDU CLT MYR CHS TPA CID MSP STL MSY DFW IAH AUS SLC LAS
 
jreuschl
Posts: 412
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:59 pm

I wonder what the reaction of a FA would be if a customer ended up 'relieving' themselves in their seat because they were told they couldn't get up and couldn't hold it anymore?

A US flight I was on kept the sign on the whole time, no turbulence, and held it for as long as I could, and just got up anyway. FA didn't say anything though.
 
Cubsrule
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 45):
A US flight I was on kept the sign on the whole time, no turbulence, and held it for as long as I could, and just got up anyway. FA didn't say anything though.

. . . and that's really the problem. If there's a reason for me to be seated, I'm glad to remain seated. If the reason the seat belt light is illuminated is that the pilots forgot, or there's a fear of liability, or they want to make the service easier, then I want to know that it's okay for me to be up if I need to be.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:59 pm

My wife and I were on a ERJ flight out of EWR a number of years ago. With the typical EWR departure delays, the gate to gate time was going to be close to 3 hours. The seat belt sign remained illuminated well after departure although the flight was smooth up to that point and no communication from the flight crew about any potential upcoming turbulence.

After about an hour or so, my wife needed to use the restroom to empty her bladder. She proceeded back to the lav and found the door locked. By then the 20 something year old FA had caught up to her and in a rude manner told my wife that she had locked the lav because the Captain had the seat belt sign illuminated and she didn't want anyone to get out of their seat to use the lav. The FA then in a nasty and scolding tone told my wife to go sit back down- my wife complied.

After another half hour with the seat belt sign still illuminated and no turbulence my wife was really becoming uncomfortable. She started to get up from her seat and was immediately told by the FA to sit back down. My wife then said to the FA that she really had to go and would not be able to hold it much longer. She also said to the FA she didn't understand why the seat belt sign wasn't being turned off since the flight was smooth. In a huff the Gestapo like FA told my wife she would unlock the lav for her. IIRC the seatbelt sign was never turned off during the entire flight.

One of the rudest and nastiest FA's I've ever encountered in 40+ years of flying. I think she relished being the cabin warden of our Embraer cell block.....
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
vr-hkg
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RE: Flight Attendants And The Seat Belt Sign

Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:10 pm

Quoting Brick (Reply 4):
My flying experience has led me to believe US airlines WAY overuse the seat belt sign. I have had so many flights that we experience a single, slight bump and the light immediately comes on and stays on for the remainder of the flight. Because of this, I believe over time this has trained both crew and passengers to take the illuminated sign with a grain of salt.

This. I've been on flights where there was not a lick of turbulence from start to finish of the flight -- not even the slightest shudder -- and no noticeable weather around either, and yet for a 90-180 minute flight, the seatbelt sign was left on for the entire duration of the flight. I'm law-abiding and can't bring myself to ignore the sign, so I sit and darned-near rupture my bladder waiting.

It's downright irresponsible, because it trains passengers to completely ignore the sign. It also forces passengers to take safety into their own hands -- with absolutely no knowledge on which to base their decision. The pilots know what is coming; passengers don't.

Pilots should be required to pay attention to their use of the seatbelt sign, not abuse it as a way to keep pax in their seats for meal service / duty free / anything else, and only switch the sign on during takeoff and landing, or when there's a genuine belief that turbulence is likely.

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