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As a passenger I noticed set of five indicators on ceiling at the front of the 737 passenger cabin. They are: red, yellow (or white), blue, white, red.

enter image description here

  • Red ones seem to be coupled together (what could indicate their higher importance and also prevents problem with failed light bulb).

  • On the photo, there seem to be two white indicators but on older models I almost certainly remember that one of them was yellow.

I have seen those indicators in old and new 737 models. I understand they inform the cabin crew of something but I did not find explanation so far.

  • What is the exact purpose of each indicator?

  • Are they controlled manually or automatically?

  • Are they Boeing-specific?

  • How are similar conditions communicated to cabin crew in other similar types of aircrafts (e.g. A320) which do not seem to have these indicators?

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    $\begingroup$ @mins – good to see someone has described similar set of lights on Airbus. This set seems to be somewhat different. It has no green light (see the answer there) and it has white and yellow/amber light (or two white lights). $\endgroup$ – miroxlav Jun 4 '17 at 10:05
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This is the forward Master Call Light Panel installed in the ceiling of the cabin. There is another one at the aft of the cabin.

enter image description here Source: Boeing 737 FAM

The lights illuminates when cabin crew member attention is required:

  • Pink: A crew member dialed the forward station number on the cabin interphone handset. A HI-LO chime is played.
  • Blue: A passenger pressed the ATTENDANT CALL switch on the Passenger Service Unit. A single HI chime is played.
  • Amber: A passenger in the lavatory pressed the ATTENDANT CALL button. A single HI chime is played.

The white portions are not used, there is no light here.

These panels exist on all large aircraft, this is a mean for the cabin crew members to be alerted without staying at their seats. Airbus has its own colors and codes, a similar question was already answered:


Source: Boeing 737 NG Flight Attendant Manual (D6-27370-6/7/8/900-FAM).

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In addition to existing answer: Learning material I found later also adds another possible cause for amber light (see slide 41):

smoke is detected in a lavatory

so the amber one can also illuminate automatically.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice find. This is an optional feature, some B737 can have it and other not. $\endgroup$ – mins Jun 4 '17 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ That should be mentioned in those flight magazines that always lay around - that would be some exceptional customer service! ;) $\endgroup$ – SePröbläm Jun 6 '17 at 20:13

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