Who Am I?

My photo
A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

20 January 2013

Boring Airline Safety Briefings

Anyone who’s ever traveled by airline has had to endure the dreaded pre-takeoff safety briefing telling us all how to buckle a seatbelt. I used to mock that “In the unlikely event of a water landing…” bit, until US Airways Captain Chesley Sullenberger and F.O. Jeff Skiles proved that it actually could be done…could be done in a nice, calm river, that is. I’m still unconvinced that a “water landing” out in the open ocean would be anything but a…what’s the word…oh yeah, CRASH.

Anyway, some airlines have decided to spice up the safety briefing. Southwest Airlines, for example lets their flight attendants improvise and try to make the briefing more enjoyable.

More and more airlines are turning to prerecorded videos. And some of them are putting quite a lot of effort into them! Air New Zealand has done some of the most hilarious and well-produced in history. I've blogged about their risque "Nothing To Hide" body-paint video before, HERE.

But Air New Zealand has done others! In THIS ONE, called "Fit To Fly," the disco-themed briefing is given by Richard Simmons and has a cameo appearance by Phil Keoghan of TV's “The Amazing Race.”

But please watch this incredible and astonishing safety video linked to "The Hobbit" movie.

My favorite has to be the salute to the All-Blacks rugby team below.

Here in the U.S., four years ago Delta Airlines came out with a new safety video series featuring one of their very pretty flight attendants named Katherine Lee. It's a fairly standard "cookie-cutter" briefing...until the 1:50 point when they cut to a close-up shot of Katherine (who became known as "Deltalina" due to her resemblance to Angelina Jolie) saying, "Smoking is not allowed on any Delta flight." The comment is accompanied by a stern, motherly wag of her index finger at us.

This little moment catapaulted this briefing into airline traveler fame and notoriety. The YouTube version of the video had 300,000 views before it was ever seen on an airplane! Currently it's got over 2.8 million views. Watch...

So some time has passed and Delta updated their safety briefing videos. Not only updated but they decided to up the ante. Obviously taking their cue from Air New Zealand, Delta chose a new presenter and went for a more humorous approach. The result is hilarious. It's full of little comedic bits and stuff going on in the background that you might miss. Watch for the little pictogram warning sign that cautions, "No chainsaw juggling." What?

One of the things that forever endears this video to me is the no-smoking advisory. As the flight attendant tells us in narration that smoking is not allowed, the camera cuts to a tweedy, bearded coach passenger with a pipe. Sure enough, there she is...a civilian Deltalina sitting in a nearby passenger seat, giving Mr. Pipe Smoker a wink and her trademarked finger-wag. What's this...Delta, making fun of itself?! Too much! Watch...

I love it when companies actually put some creativity into doing their business. I love it that some airlines actually try to get people to listen to the safety presentations instead of burying their faces in magazines. And I especially love it when a company can poke fun at itself.

All of the above videos are worth watching just for the fun of it. If you have some time, I urge you to search YouTube for the behind-the-scenes, outtakes and blooper videos for both Delta and Air New Zealand. The Delta one has some things that did not make it into the final cut that I think are funny enough that they should have been included.

These videos almost make me want to fly on the airlines again.

Almost. But not quite.

1 comment:

Michael Morris said...

I flew on Virgin America a couple of years ago. Their safety presentation was pretty funny. When I flew they didn't have a video (at least up in First Class), but it was pretty much the same as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyygn8HFTCo

Also enjoy the Southwest flight attendants with their singing, rapping, etc.