You may recall some number of years ago, management
established a policy requiring Flight Attendants on aircraft with video safety demonstration systems to stand in the aisle at our live safety demonstration positions while the video was shown. You may also recall that AFA was not supportive of that decision and made recommendations for Flight Attendants to be as close as possible to their assigned exits where they were best positioned to respond to an emergency and be prepared for an evacuation in the event one became necessary on taxi.
Management elected to establish an alternate policy. In March of this year, the FAA published a revision to the Advisory Circular on Passenger Safety Information Briefing and Briefing Cards. In this revision, the FAA updated their guidance on the positioning of Flight Attendants during the video safety demonstration. The revised procedure, which becomes effective with the August 1, 2019 Revision to the eFAOM, is as follows:
“On aircraft equipped with video presentation systems, Flight Attendants should stand as near as possible to their assigned exit without obstructing customer view of monitors/screens. Flight Attendants should have demo equipment readily available in the event of a malfunction or poor video quality. Drop-down and retractable in-arm video monitors are to be stowed for taxi, takeoff, and landing.”
Management was quick to respond to AFA’s advocacy for the company to begin the process of implementing the changes outlined in the Advisory Circular. We will continue to collaborate with United management to implement any other necessary changes resulting from the revision.
Cabin safety checks are still required following the safety video. Doing so will ensure cabin readiness and provide passengers with the opportunity to ask questions regarding the safety demonstration or any other safety concern. Starting the safety demonstration video as soon as possible after door closure is essential. Doing so ensures adequate time to complete the demonstration and conduct an effective cabin check.
As a reminder, during taxi, Flight Attendants are required by regulation to remain at their “duty stations” with safety belts and shoulder harnesses fastened except to perform duties related to the safety of the airplane and its occupants.
Additional details will be published with the release of Revision #29 and available for Flight Attendants to download beginning July 16, 2019. More information can be found in ISW July 10, 2019 publication.