Typically, flight attendants make two announcements to the passengers during landing. One, slightly before touchdown, and another whilst vacating the runway.
From a flight attendant’s perspective, landing announcements are some of the most important ones we make. Not only do they include safety information, they are the last words passengers hear before they step off the aircraft, so it’s essential that they be both informative and memorable.
Unfortunately, these announcements aren’t always delivered well, and, sometimes the PA system makes them hard to hear! I’ve experienced this travelling as a passenger myself, and even as a seasoned flight attendant — tuned into the crackly PA system, and having an understanding of what the announcements typically include — I’ve missed exactly what they are saying.
So, if you’ve misheard the PA, or you are just curious as to what the cabin crew are saying, here’s a brief look at the announcements flight attendants make during landing.
Let’s start with the first announcement, which typically occurs during the aircraft’s final approach to landing.
This is a mandatory reminder to the cabin crew to take their seats, and it is made by the senior flight attendant — sometimes called a Purser. This is usually made between 2–5 minutes before touchdown.
Flight attendants thank you for your help in securing the cabin, please take your seats for landing.2 minutes before landing PA
During landing, all flight attendants must be seated in our designated crew seats, with our harnesses fastened. This is for our safety during the landing, and to ensure that all the doors are covered by the correct number of attendants for evacuation purposes.
However, this announcement serves two purposes. Not only does it let the cabin crew know landing is imminent, but it also signifies to the pilots that we have completed our checks in the passenger cabin and the aircraft is ready to land.
The second — and often final announcement — typically happens after landing, as the aircraft is vacating the runway. This is when we welcome passengers to their new destination, and give them a little update on what to expect next. This is usually divided into 4 sections:
The first thing we do is pass the passengers the current local time. Remember, for long-distance flights not only may the time have changed by several hours, but it might not even be the same day anymore!
While passing the local time, flight attendants might also highlight to passengers an on time arrival, or add a final apology for any delays that may have occurred during the flight.
Taxiing is still a dangerous phase of flight, so safety reminders are a mainstay of after landing PAs. I’d like to think most people wouldn’t unfasten their seatbelt and stand up in a car just because it’s left the motorway — waiting instead until they are parked.
Well, the airline equivalent of this happens surprisingly frequently, as passengers are anxious to get off the aircraft.
We give a quick rundown of any airline specific information — such as the airport terminal we will arrive at, and information for collecting luggage or transfer passengers.
This information is crucial, as it helps passengers plan their next steps and ensures a seamless transition to their next destination.
Airline specific schemes
Finally, virtually all airlines will do a corporate thank you — essentially, we give a big shout-out to our loyal passengers!
These are structured differently depending on the individual airline, but revolve around thanking customer loyalty and frequent flier programs. Many larger airlines will have both their own dedicated loyalty scheme, and be partners in a codesharing agreement.
Flight attendant landing PA: Example
There you have it! These two passenger announcements may seem simple, but they’re a mandatory part of a flight attendant’s job and contain some important safety information for both the passengers and crew.
This final PA is often the flight attendant’s last time to make a good impression on departing customers. As a result, many airlines agonise over the correct wording, and ensure their flight attendants have a pre-set structure for this PA, often producing a script or template to read from.