When can passengers unbuckle their seatbelts?

When passengers can untie their seatbelts? Usually, when I fly in reality, of course as a passenger and I’m not really a pilot, the seatbelt signal turns off after reaching pass 10,000 feet altitude. Do pilots balance their aircrafts before turning off seatbelt signals? If not, how passengers can move around without falling on their faces?

At that altitude your climb won’t be as steep. That should prevent passengers from falling over, of course it’s not a set requirement. If it will be a steep climb they could always leave the seatbelt sign on for longer.

Yes though the ballpark figure is 10,000ft for turning it on and off.

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Or when the plane is about to go into a turn or bank that would cause passengers to fall.

blimey, what airlines are people flying where the pilots are throwing the aircraft around enough to make people fall over! ;)


From my experience in real aircraft at about 10,000ft or cruise altitude when it turns off. 👍 Tho take heed of others as this is just me 😉

14 CFR 91.107 https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.107

Lol that’s alot of info

If you set the seatbelt switch to ‘auto’ it will ‘automatically’ switch off at 10,000’.

However, I often switch them off earlier if it looks nice (especially if we’ve had a long taxy out, punters need the loo etc…).

The seat belts are a legal necessity for us in the front to inform the passengers that they need to sit down and buckle up. It also informs the cabin crew to stop serving hot drinks. I will put them on if I encounter turbulence or reports of turbulence, CB’s in the area etc.

If you move about the cabin when the belts are on then ‘legally’ you have no leg to stand on in the event of injury due turbulence!

There is no requirement to put the belts on for manoeuvres! If we do them as we should you will hardly feel them anyway. :D


I always thought about 10,000 ft but when I use Infinate passenger the announcement comes on around 6,300ft!

Do they unbuckle them at 10000 MSL or AGL?

10,000ft altitude so AMSL.


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I think that in the U.S, they turn off the seat belt sign once reaching cruising altitude. While the climb isn’t steep above 10k, the movement from the plane leveling off at cruise might be uncomfortable for the passengers.

It’s the same pretty much all around the world. Yuan being a pilot himself offerss great insight into this question.

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I flew yesterday. We had belts til about 16K and the ride was supposed to be good thru 2/3 of the flight but the bumps came a bit early-the signs went back on for about 45 minutes-til the ride smoothed out (it was never more than a bit of light chop) then they came back on after we began our second (first was FL360-FL320) descent into our destination.

I usually put seatbelt signs on when

pax board the aircraft it is on
On take off
At 11 000 ft I switch it off depends on the winds
When winds go above 90 kts in cruise I put them on
When I clear pax for our decent I put them on
And when we are at the gates and engines are swiched off I put them off

Hope it helps abit😁

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Yes which is a ridiculously approach.

There isn’t any reason on a calm day everyone must be strapped in until cruise. As you probably noticed passengers just ignore the seat belt signs about 10000ft and get up to go to the loo anyway.

Levelling off is not uncomfortable and if you engage V/S for the last thousand feet you can make it even more gentle.

During non critical phases of flights.
When I do passenger runs we do not let our pax take their seat belts off thought

Flight Attendant here, so the behavior I have noticed on my airline, well perhaps in the US, is that pax unbuckle their seatbelts whenever they want and get up to use the lavatory. Usually happens at the double ding at 10,000/18,000ft. Captains usually wait for good smooth air or until we are in cruise to turn the seatbelt sign off.


Trust me, I’ve been on many Southwest flights IRL without much turbulence (2-4 hrs) and sometimes they only have the seat belt sign off for 20 minutes.

Ryanair. Enough said.