On The Line

Return to On The Line home page

Safety First

While on-time departures are helpful for United's business initiatives, they are not an excuse for a violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). We do not allow violations such as passenger boarding without FAA minimums onboard the aircraft or Customer Service closing aircraft doors before FAA requirements are met.

Everyday it's important that we practice safety and security procedures as if it's the day of CQ.  It's critical that we enforce FAR's that require specific actions on our part such as FAR 121.39l(d), which states that during taxi, flights attendants must remain at their jumpseats "with safety belts and shoulder harnesses fastened, except to perform duties related to the safety of the airplane and its occupants." This FAR is addressed in the FAOM.  Be aware that taking meal orders, setting up the galley for inflight service or standing in the galley and chatting with other crewmembers about non-safety related duties are all activities that violate this regulation. To avoid a non-compliance situation, once the safety demo is finished, complete the required cabin check, take your assigned jumpseat and fasten your seatbelt.

We are all aware of the dangers of turbulence.  During the flight each of us is charged with making a visual inspection to ensure every passenger's seat belt is fastened, every time the seatbelt sign is illuminated, except during turbulence that requires Flight Attendants to be seated. The responsibility for checking hundreds of seatbelts should be shared among the entire crew to expedite and lighten the amount of work involved. If a passenger is out of their seat when the seatbelt sign is on, we do have a responsibility to challenge them, reminding them that the seatbelt sign is illuminated.  Don't use the phrase "you're up at your own risk," as it implies permission and a shift in liability that is not accurate. While checking for compliance with seatbelts, make sure that child restraints are also FAA approved and check your FAOM for specific information. There is recognition by regulatory agencies that some human conditions merit a more forgiving treatment.  We can and should continue to handle the elderly, children, and personal health emergencies with a little more leniency, as the situation requires.

At the end of both terminating and through flights, FARs require that Flight Attendants remain on board until passenger deplaning is complete, including passengers requiring a wheelchair or other special handling needs. The only exception to this is if there are more than the FAA minimum crew and those above minimum must leave to work an outbound flight. This regulation is detailed in your FAOM.

In the event that we are not in compliance with any FAR, every crewmember involved should file an ISAP report detailing the circumstances that led to the violation. Find the link to online ISAP reports in the Safety section of our website or on our Useful websites page.

Return to On The Line home page

top of page