magd1272
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:17 am

Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:37 pm

I've noticed on short haul intra-Europe flights (with BA, LH, U2) that the seatbelt sign comes on 10-15 mins before landing, whereas on long haul flights (VS, EK, BD back in the day) it's 30-45 mins before. Assuming my observations are correct, is this down to the size of aircraft, individual airline policy, or some other type of regulation?
 
Q
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 10:29 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:27 pm

Long time ago, Delta 727 took off Cincinnati just 2 mins seat belt sign off! LOL! Arrived Chicago 7 or 9 min before landing.

Q
 
rta
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:01 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:33 pm

I think they put the seatbelt sign on to aid with the preparation of the aircraft for landing. That being said, 30-45 minutes seem like a lot, but could be facilitated due to conditions on the approach.

On BA longhaul I think I've noticed them put the seatbelt sign on 20 minutes before landing.
 
magd1272
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:43 pm

Approaching JFK on VS recently, they announced 45 mins out that the seatbelt signs would go on 30 mins prior to landing, and on the return leg to LHR the captain said "we expect to be on the ground in around 40 mins" and flicked the signs on - at which point the FAs came through the cabin, locking the lavs and making final preparations. From the on screen flight info it seemed that the signs came on when descending through 30,000 feet, which I thought surprisingly high.
 
hiflyeras
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:48 pm

So many factors....aircraft size (corralling more people back to their seat), weather conditions (potential or known issue of turbulence into that city), crew duties prior to landing (service items to still pick up). And sometimes the pilots forget and the sign comes on automatically when the landing gear goes down. Oops.
 
ckfred
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:10 pm

I was flying back from LHR to ORD on BA. The captain came on about 40 minutes prior to landing, to say that he was turning on the sign in about 20 minutes. That was to give people time to go to the lavatory, put away the laptops, carry-ons and so on, and for some people wake up or finish the sandwich and beverage that had been served about 30 minutes earlier.
 
smi0006
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RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:41 pm

Depends on the rules for each carrier, at QF when the seatbelt sign is on pax and crew must be seated. So crew can't prepare the cabin for landing when the sign is on. A much more sensible policy, passengers don't get up when the sign is on because they see the crew are seated, no confusion. And if it's not safe for pax, it isn't safe for crew to be up and about. Avoids the tendency to leave the sign on all flight or unnecessarily, to keep pax seated and out of the way.

QF crew get a PA at top of decent to start preparing the cabin for landing, CSM will acknowledge the PA and will be informed if it will be a quick descent and pass this on to the crew, seat belt sign will be switched on 10-15before.
 
crownvic
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:57 pm

Whats even better is when the flight attendents come on the P.A. when you are just starting the initial descent from cruise altitude (30-35K feet) and announcing we have been "cleared to land" and proceede with the coming through the cabin announcement.
 
hz747300
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:20 am

CX Pilots make their announcement 30 minutes to landing with a weather update, report of the flight apologizing for any initial delays or excess turbulence and then end with "flight attendants 30 minutes to landing". It generally matches the Airshow time too, but if it does not, they sometimes even explain that difference. About 10 minutes after that announcement, the seatbelt sign comes on.

What I find fascinating, is the amount of people that get up to go to the bathroom on the 30 minute announcement and the large queue that forms when the seatbelt sign comes on. FAs are generally fine to let a few more into the bathroom after the sign is on so that no one poops their chair.

Around 10 minutes to landing, the pilot says, "flight attendants please be seated for landing". There have been some differences if there is a Typhoon in the area for example.
Keep on truckin'...
 
ChinaClipper40
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:23 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:25 am

Slightly off topic, but nevertheless related. I have noted that - very consistently - cockpit crews of U.S. airlines do not turn off the seatbelt sign after takeoff until reaching initial cruise altitude, no matter how smooth the ride. In contrast, cockpit crews of European airlines very consistently turn off the seatbelt sign about 5-10 minutes after takeofff provided that the ride is smooth and there is no turbulence predicted on the climb to cruise altitude. Does this reflect a difference in cockpit "culture," difference in company policies, or difference in regulations (FAA versus EASA)? Any knowledgeable insight (especially from flight crew members of this forum) would be appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.
 
N757ST
Posts: 734
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 6:00 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:08 am

I think it is cultural. I'm in the U.S. and generally I won't shut it off until cruise. Clear air turbulence can linger at different altitudes in the climb out, so I wait. My company requires it be turned on at 18,000 in decent, that's when I will pop it on unless there is weather or bad ride reports ahead.
 
User avatar
RRTrent
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RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:16 am

Quoting ChinaClipper40 (Reply 9):

Its funny you mention that, recently I flew a sector in Europe with FR and the seatbelt sign was turned off within a few minutes of flight, I'm guessing 10k ft. A few weeks later I flew with AA to ORD from DUB and I noticed that seatbelt sign was on until we were in the cruise or thereabouts
 
happyhaydn
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:59 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:17 am

Quoting ChinaClipper40 (Reply 9):

At my airline in the EU, the Cabin Crew are normally released after the aircraft has cleared the level of any CB's/TCU's in the area. The passengers are normally released passing through 10,000ft or higher depending on weather in the area. The same is true in reverse... Pax are strapped in for landing passing through 10,000ft (10-15mins) and Cabin Crew strap in after securing the cabin.

I guess the main differences between EU/US are that we "generally" have much more benign weather in EU, and also the "where there's blame, there's a claim" culture is not as prevalent in EU. US airlines generally seem to be more proactive at covering themselves against lawsuits.

happyhaydn
 
RogerMurdock
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:01 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:41 pm

Last time I flew on MS the seatbelt sign was turned on about 60 seconds before landing.
 
roseflyer
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:49 pm

Quoting RogerMurdock (Reply 13):


Last time I flew on MS the seatbelt sign was turned on about 60 seconds before landing.


That sounds like the crew put the seatbelt sign switch to auto which means it goes on when the landing gear is deployed (depending on the plane)
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3243
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:57 pm

Quoting magd1272 (Thread starter):
whereas on long haul flights (VS, EK, BD back in the day) it's 30-45 mins before

Takes longer to prep a Long haul widebody flight or a 757 tatl flight for landing than it will a smaller narrowbody jet. Especially ass intra eurpean flight for LLC/ULLC's have lower services on board and such do not take as long to prep for landing. What does Ryan Air do for landing prep, turn off power to the vending machine?
 
starrymarkb
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:19 pm

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:00 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 14):
That sounds like the crew put the seatbelt sign switch to auto which means it goes on when the landing gear is deployed (depending on the plane)

On Airbii I believe Auto triggers passing FL100
 
airbuster
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:43 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:04 pm

On a clear and calm day at my operator we switch it off after the after take off checks and on either 10.000ft AGL/30nm out/10 mins out whichever comes first. Then there are multiple factors that can require it being on longer. I made a 360 the other day because due to a sudden event in the cabin they weren't ready for the approach, it can happen. No problem in general.
FLY FOKKER JET LINE!
 
N757ST
Posts: 734
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 6:00 am

RE: Differing Seatbelt Times Before Landing

Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:17 pm

Quoting starrymarkb (Reply 16):

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 14):
That sounds like the crew put the seatbelt sign switch to auto which means it goes on when the landing gear is deployed (depending on the plane)

On Airbii I believe Auto triggers passing FL100


No. Flaps to 0, flaps out of 0.

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