Couple of days ago, I was on my flight from Phoenix to Philadelphia. As the flight attendant announced the mandatory safety instructions, I was wondering what the real purpose of those instructions were, as not a single passenger to my knowledge cared to listen with the seriousness with which the instructions were given.
It occured to me that most passengers in the flight would have heard those safety instructions probably a million times before. Made me thinking why even announce when people seldom care. Such instructions would be helpful only for first time travellers or those with selective amnesia. But in a local flight in the US, I doubt how many of them could there be.
For flights operating in third world countries, I understand the need for such instructions (I remember how I stopped everything I was doing and listened to the instructions the first time I travelled from India). For most other countries, I think its a simple waste of time. One could agree and say that the airlines could possibly use the time to start serving the food a little early or on a red-eye, switch the damn lights off so that people could doze off.
Or we would know only when there is an emergency and when people scurry around to find the nearest exit! That would be fun to watch.