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When can the pilot turn off the fasten seatbelt sign

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If you have ever flown on a foreign airline, you might have been surprised that the fasten seatbelt sign was turned off at 10,000 feet, or about five minutes after take-off.

On a recent JetBlue flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Quito, Ecuador, the pilot came out of the cockpit before the flight and said, I am the most liberal pilot when it comes to the fasten seatbelt sign. I am legally allowed to turn it off at 10,000 feet and I will if it is smooth, however, if the fasten seatbelt sign is on, please stay in your seat. The fasten seatbelt sign was off after the first five minutes of the flight and not turned on again until 20 minutes to landing. What a nice flight!

I spoke to a Delta pilot who stated that they are allowed to turn the fasten seatbelt sign off at 18,000 feet if they feel it is safe.

United pilots are not allowed to turn off the fasten seatbelt until they reach their cruising altitude of about 37,000 feet. This can often take 30 minutes. On a recent flight from Buenos Aires to Houston, the fasten seatbelt sign stayed on for the entire flight.

If anyone has information about other airlines, please pass it on.

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