Pilot Finds Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 Safety Cards On A 757

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  • A safety card mix-up on a Delta Air Lines flight was recently discovered by a pilot of a different airline.
  • Attention to detail is crucial as each aircraft model has specific emergency exit layouts that passengers must know.
  • Similar incidents of incorrect safety cards have occurred on Delta flights.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is investigating after a passenger reportedly discovered several safety cards on the wrong aircraft. The passenger, a pilot from a different airline, allegedly told the flight’s captain after finding the cards.

The reported incident is not the first time Delta has been accused of switching out safety cards on the wrong aircraft. As required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), incorrect cards can lead airlines to ground their aircraft and be subject to regulatory violations.

737 on a 757

Karlene Petitt, a retired airline pilot, shared the development on X over the weekend, saying that a pilot from another airline found 10 safety cards for a Boeing 737-800 while on a flight operated by a 757.

It is unclear whether the pilot was on a 757-200 or 757-300 series, but Petitt said after the pilot informed the captain of the flight, he was “pissed.” The flight reportedly originated at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), but its destination is unknown. Petitt explained that the plane would have had to be grounded at ATL unless Delta replaced the incorrect placards with the correct ones.

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Simple Flying contacted Delta on Sunday for comment on the matter, and a spokesperson said the carrier was looking into the incident. It is unclear when the flight occurred. Additionally, Simple Flying has not independently verified the alleged grounding.

Other similar mix-ups

The mistake is, unfortunately, not the first time passengers have complained about finding the wrong safety cards on a Delta flight. In a reply to Petitt’s post, another X user said they found an incorrect card while on a long-haul flight.

“I once boarded an A330 in Amsterdam headed to Minneapolis and my card was for a B767-300!” they explained. “That was an exciting find.”

In a forum on Flyertalk, one person said they discovered safety cards for a 757-200 while on a 717-200 in 2018.

“Just an amusing observation. Today on my morning flight all the seat back safety cards were for a 757-200 even though we were flying a 717. Attention to detail is usually an important part of any safety protocol.”

In that scenario, the person explained they noticed multiple rows of seats had the wrong cards during a flight from Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). As a result, the person contacted Delta while enroute to PHX, and the airline was quick to respond.

“I sent a private message to DL via twitter while in flight and there were already staff on the jet bridge in Phoenix with new safety cards waiting for passengers to disembark,” they said.

Attention to detail

The correct safety card on each aircraft type is crucial, considering each has a specific number of exits that passengers must be aware of in the case of an emergency. According to the FAA, safety cards also need to be specific to the aircraft of the same model if the safety-related procedures are different.

“When the safety-related aspects of aircraft equipment are different, even within the same model of aircraft, the air carrier must provide safety information briefing cards specific to that aircraft. Merely labeling exits, liferafts, or other safety-related equipment with the type and model of aircraft is not sufficient. Safety information briefing cards must show the most common method used to operate the emergency exits in an emergency.”

Delta’s 757-200 fleet perfectly explains why ground crews must pay closer attention to detail when replacing safety cards. There are five models of the variant with different amounts of emergency exits: the 75D, 75G, 75H, 75C, and 75C.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-251 at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Photo: Dereje | Shutterstock

The 75D and 75H have a total of 10 exits, including four over-wing window exits, while the 75G and 75C have eight exits, four on each side. The 75C is reserved for the carrier’s charter operations.

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  • Delta A350

    Delta Air Lines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Boston Logan International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

    Year Founded:


    Ed Bastian

    United States

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