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For one airline (Air France, IIRC), I've heard

  • a cabin chime (presumably to apprise flight attendants ("FA") that they can get up)

  • then saw FAs leaving their jump seats,

far sooner after rotation than other First World airlines.

  1. Why does the time of rising from the jump seat differ among airlines?

  2. Isn't getting up later safer (when the aircraft's pitch is less)? I'm curious if Air France cares less about its FAs' safety.

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  • $\begingroup$ From where to where did you fly? On my last flight to Brussels, for example, the attendants had barely enough time to serve drinks to every passenger even though they got up almost immediately after takeoff. $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag May 19 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ At least we can assume that flight attendants won't rise before a suitable signal - unlike passengers who never "please remain seated until we have reached our parking position and the seat-belt lights have been switched off" ... $\endgroup$ – Hagen von Eitzen May 19 at 11:36
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The industry standard is to switch the seat belts signs off while crossing 10,000 ft. And this is usually the moment when flight attendants get up. But really depends on company policies as you saw. Even within the same airline there may be different standards for different fleet, which actually depends more on timing for service that on safety.

In any case, the decision to let the flight attendants to get up depends solely on the captain, who is the one looking after their safety. If he suspects turbulence ahead he will delay the signs as much as required.

You have also to consider that flight attendants receive special training on how to move safely around the aircraft, even with severe unexpected turbulence. If you encounter some light turbulence in your next flight pay attention on how they move: looking for a stable position opening the legs more than usual walking and pointing their hands to places they could grab immediately.

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