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On airliners, the safety demonstration includes many items (seat belt, life vest, evacuation, etc.) and each of those items may raise questions from the passengers (when to inflating the life vest, how to unlocking the seat belt, ...) and thus need more time to explain why those items are detailed.

Given the following elements:

  • the safety demonstration should begin while leaving the gate.
  • an average passenger may not pay attention for more than few minutes
  • the briefing should be finished before take-off (I hardly see flight attendants moving and manipulating life vest, seat belts and other objects in the middle of the aisle while taking off)
  • many items may need a better (and longer) explanation

I have several questions:

  1. Are there any regulations about the timing of the safety demonstrations?
  2. Is it up to the airline (automated videos are quite easy to time)?
  3. What if the safety demonstration are not finished when the aircraft is ready to take off (on the runway with all clearances)?
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  • $\begingroup$ I'm curious - do you see a lot of passengers asking questions about the safety demonstrations? I don't fly nearly as often as I used to, but here in the US, I've never seen a PAX asking about the demonstrations. I've seen some have trouble buckling the belt, but that's usually dealt with by the crew on their checks through the cabin, not a frantically waved hand or the call button. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Oct 5 '15 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan Agreed, but not on this website. Perhaps the way safety demonstration is done do not invite PAX to think about it. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Oct 6 '15 at 12:34
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On top of Samis answer above, I'd like to add that there are also different requirements for the content (at least in europe):

  • The life-vest demo is only required if extended portions of the flight are over water and/or climb and approach routes lead over water.

  • The safety demo has to be finished before take-off.

I remember quite a number of flights where we had to wait at the holding point because the cabin was not yet ready.

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I haven't heard of any regulations about the length of the safety demo, just the content, which is pretty much as you described. However it's in the airline's interest to keep it as short as possible. The aircraft cannot take-off before the chief of cabin notifies the cockpit that the cabin is ready for take-off. The cabin is ready after all passengers are on their seats, safety demo completed, galleys secured and hand luggage stowed away.

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