Most passengers do not give much importance to it. Airlines are finding ways and means to get the attention of passengers to always pay full attention to this, even if it is repeated in every flight. This is the safety demo by cabin crew members or the safety video. The safety demo is actually very important that passengers are supposed to give their full attention to it, even if they have a million miler card in their pockets.
A safety demo, from the words itself, is where the cabin crew demonstrates the safety procedures during a given emergency situation like a water landing or terrain landing. The cabin crew basically instructs the passengers what to do like how to put on their life vests, when to inflate it, how to properly wear the oxygen masks, where to go during immediate evacuation procedures, how to find the nearest exits, and so on. Yes, you may have seen this countless times, but why is it during a real emergency situation, passengers still do not know what to do? That's because 100% attention was not given to the safety demonstration.
terraiWhen Ethiopian Air flight 961 crashed into the sea in 1996, many passengers would have still been alive if only they paid attention to their crew and the safety demonstration. Apparently, the passengers, out of panic, inflated their life jackets while inside the aircraft wherein they were clearly instructed to only inflate it outside. When the aircraft crashed into the sea, the inflated life jackets pushed the passengers straight to the ceiling of the sinking aircraft, thus, preventing them from escaping through the emergency exits.
That example alone why the safety demonstration is as important as your life.
During an emergency situation like when the cabin crew calls for "Emergency bend down, brace for impact", ypou have to know what to do which was already demonstrated in the safety demo. During an explosive decompression, you should already know how to properly wear your face masks. It is worn above your nose and mouth so you can breath normally.
All the same goes for locating the emergency exits incase the cabin is filled with smoke, opening the exit doors, which exit door to open and which not to, every passenger should really know what to do by their own to speed up evacuation. There is no time to ask your flight attendant where the emergency exit is, you have to be able to locate it, and this is part of the safety demo also.
Passengers taking their personal luggage during emergency evacuation is also caused by them not paying attention or perhaps, shrugging off the safety demo. Passengers are already told to leave all their personal hand carries during an emergency evacuation but yet, many fail to follow, they still get their hand carries. Pulling out your personal items from the OSB could take an extra 3 to 5 seconds, in which even a fraction of a second is very crucial. Anything can happen. It can mean life or death! Your personal items can be replaced, but lives are not.
We do not want to scare you here but the safety demo is so important that you should pay attention to it as though an accident is sure to happen. It should never be disregarded.
Flying inside an airplane is no different from space travel, you are inside huge life support machines. Despite all the safety detail taken into account by the airlines and the aircraft manufacturers, anything may still happen. It is always best to be prepared.
Yes air travel is very safe, but safety demos should never be taken for granted.