On March 8 of this year, after receiving a number of inquiries and requests for clarification, our MEC Safety, Health and Security Committee shared information concerning seat belt compliance checks and provided guidance to ensure Flight Attendants are in compliance.
In response to that guidance, misinformation spread via social media and in the workplace continues to wrongly suggest that these compliance checks are in some way discretionary in nature for Flight Attendants. These improper suggestions have created significant confusion in the workplace and Flight Attendants continue to seek clarification as to when (and if) Seatbelt Compliance Checks are required.
To avoid confusion, the use of seatbelts for cabin occupants two years and older is required on all aircraft during surface movement, takeoff and landing, in accordance with FAR 121.311. The flight deck is responsible for illuminating the Fasten Seat Belt sign. Flight Attendants are required to make PA announcements at regular intervals in those instances when the Fasten Seat Belt sign is illuminated during prolonged periods, or if passengers do not comply when the sign is illuminated.
In addition to the PA announcements, Flight Attendants are required to complete a cabin compliance check anytime the Fasten Seat Belt sign is turned on during flight, except if instructed by pilots to take their jumpseats, remain seated or during moderate to severe turbulence, as stated as part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
None of us can selectively read or interpret a FAR or disregard eFAOM guidance. The Standard Operating Procedures in the eFAOM is deemed as regulatory per FAA because our eFAOMs, the United Flight Attendant Manual, is approved by the FAA which makes the information contained in the publication essential for compliance with FARs. Misrepresenting published communications places all of us at a disadvantage
If you have any questions, please contact your Local Council Safety Representatives for assistance.