If you've ever flown on a commercial airliner, you probably remember how, just before takeoff, the steward or stewardess stood in the aisle and reviewed the flight safety instructions, demonstrating how to fasten a seat belt, how to use an oxygen mask, and pointing to the aircraft's emergency exits, among other things. Just in case you missed it, or if you would like to freshen up on your flight safety instructions, let's take another look.
The flight safety instructions begin with some information on luggage. Passengers are directed to stow their luggage in the compartments above them. They are also reminded to make sure that the compartments are securely shut, since luggage can shift around during the flight. If there isn't room in the overhead compartments, passengers are instructed to stow their bags beneath the seats in front of them.
The Exit Rows
Flight safety instructions typically continue with information regarding the exits. In case of an emergency landing, certain rows lead to the designated exit points. These rows are pointed out. Those sitting in the exit rows are almost always adults, since they are expected to open the exit doors in the event of a crash, as well as help others to them. The option is usually given to an exit-row passenger to switch with someone else if he doesn't feel comfortable with these responsibilities.
Electronic devices are not to be used during takeoff and landing. Some electronic devices are barred from use throughout the duration of the flight; this includes cell phones. Laptops, CD players, MP3 players and iPods are permitted after takeoff and before landing. The reasons typically given for these restrictions is that some of these devices can interfere with on-flight equipment.
Oxygen Masks and Life Vests
In the event that the oxygen level in the main cabin becomes unstable, oxygen masks will drop in front of every passenger. Passengers are to take them, secure them to their heads using the elastic band and breathe through the masks normally. Passengers are instructed to make sure their masks are on first before assisting other passengers or children. In the event that a life vest might be necessary, passengers are told that underneath each seat is a life vest, which can be inflated by pulling a colored tab. The vests double as flotation devices when needed.
Other Odds and Ends
Passengers are typically instructed not to smoke during the duration of the flight and are reminded that they are prohibited from tampering with smoke detectors in the restrooms. Passengers are shown how to buckle, tighten and unbuckle a seat belt. Passengers are additionally instructed to obey the "Fasten Seat Belts" sign. When it is lit, seat belts are to be fastened. As a general rule, passengers are encouraged to fasten their seat belts whenever they are seated.