According to this answer, in the event of an explosive decompression it can take as little as 9 seconds to develop problems without an Oxygen supply.

How are cabin crew meant to get to an oxygen supply when they're a long way from their allocated seat ? There's not only distance to consider but if they're jammed between two carts in the middle of meal service they're not going anywhere too quickly !


1 Answer 1


There are usually extra oxygen masks in the cabin- it is a regulatory requirement. From 14 CFR 25.1447 - Equipment standards for oxygen dispensing units:

(c) If certification for operation above 25,000 feet is requested, there must be oxygen dispensing equipment meeting the following requirements:

(1) ... There must be ... at least two oxygen dispensing units connected to oxygen terminals in each lavatory. The total number of dispensing units and outlets in the cabin must exceed the number of seats by at least 10 percent. The extra units must be as uniformly distributed throughout the cabin as practicable.

So the cabin crew can use the nearest unused oxygen masks. Also, each flight attendant position has a portable oxygen system, which can be used in case of emergency (though it is intended usually for therapeutic purposes). in addition, there is also the Protective Breathing Equipment in the cabin. Though these two are not intended for normal use during decompression, I guess it can be used in case of an emergency.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you sure the portable oxygen is at each FA station? In the Helios 522 accident it seems the FA took rather long going from one of the extra masks to the next before he got to the portable one (and thus got to the cockpit too late to do anything). Or perhaps more of them were added in the wake of that accident? $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Oct 21, 2016 at 19:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .