The Christmas Eve Safety Briefing That Makes Flights Awesome

Many flight safety briefings are done by video nowadays, at least on aircraft equipped with inflight entertainment. But flight attendants used to do safety briefings live and on some aircraft of course they still do.

As long as all of the relevant information is included in the briefing, the particular verbiage isn’t dictated. So I’ve been on plenty of flights where it deviated from the standard script.

Back in 1999, I think, I first heard “‘Twas the Flight Before Christmas” and it went something like this:

    Twas the night before Christmas on this [airline] aircraft
    All the passengers were stirring both forward and aft.

    The oxygen masks were all hung up with care
    If oxygen were needed it would readily be there.
    Pull down on the mask till the tube’s fully extended
    Help with the child when you’re done, that would be oh so splendid.
    Place the mask on your face with the elastic secure
    The bag may be flat but the oxygen’s pure.

    And Santa has helpers in all exit rows
    It’s not to wrap presents all covered in bows.
    You must see the exits – hear instructions we yell
    Get those exits all opened in a very short spell.
    Direct folks to the exits, don’t get in the way
    And don’t hurt yourself on this [aircraft type] sleigh.
    You can’t get distracted, 15 or over you must be
    If you don’t want these duties, please tell it to me.

    Your seatbelt is fastened when the sign starts to glow
    We’ll show you how it works in case you don’t know.
    Metal tab into buckle, now pull on the strap
    Lift up on the buckle to get out in a snap.
    A comfortable flight we should be having today
    Keep your belt always fastened, should we hit a bump ‘long the way.

    All crew member instructions you must always obey
    Anytime you’re flying on a big [airline] sleigh.
    Four door exits here if you need to get out
    Two forward and two aft exit routes.
    These doors are equipped with emergency slides
    Also two window exits, one on each side.

    Emergency lights have been placed on the seats by the floor
    Red lights will indicate when you’re close to a door.
    But if you are looking in daylight instead
    All exits are marked with signs white and red.

    And just for the record you might want to note
    Your seat bottom cushion will help you to float.
    Just pull up on the cushion and hold it to your chest
    Make sure to hold the straps and the cushion will do the rest.

    No smoking allowed anywhere on the plane
    It’s required by law, not because we’re insane.
    Smoke detectors in the lavs you must leave alone
    It’s a federal offense; we’re a no smoking zone.
    Observe posted placards and all lighted signs
    Complying with all will save you from fines.

    This holiday season if you need to call home
    Remember you can’t do it on your cellular phone.
    Now folks put your seatbacks and tray tables upright
    And fasten those seatbelts make sure they’re so low and tight.

    Your carry on items should be properly stowed
    In overhead bins or underneath by your toes.

    There’s a card in the seat pocket, “Safety Card” is the name
    Take a moment to learn it, safety knowledge, proper use of personal electronic devices you’ll gain.

    And last but not least look who is here
    It’s ____, ____, _____, and _____; not Santa’s reindeer.
    In case you’re wondering and said to yourself
    The guy up front is not that jolly old elf.
    In fact it’s our Captain, Captain _______ is the name
    And unlike Santa there’s help flying this plane.
    It’s First officer ______, and you’ll hear them exclaim

    We’re happy to serve you on our [airline] airplane.
    On behalf of our crew we’re happy to say
    We’ll be leaving for _______ without further delay.
    (for night flights)
    Now as we depart out of _____ tonight
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight.
    (for day flights)
    Now as we depart out of ______today
    Merry Christmas to all; we’re now on our way.

Someone recorded a live rendition of this and put it on YouTube. It’s really just audio..

Whenever flight attendants are having fun with the safety briefing, you know they’re having fun. And when they’re having fun at their job, the flight is just going to be better.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all, and to all, good flights and a better 2021!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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