Safety First!

In this day and age, so many things about flying have become stressful.   The necessary security checks, the poor customer service, and even other passengers can get a traveler down.  A couple of airlines, though, have taken what is primarily the most mundane and repetitive part of the flight, the safety video, and turned it into the highlight of the entire experience.

Take a look at look at the “flying experience” some 20 years ago.  This video from Pan Am was groundbreaking, for its time, but it doesn’t exactly suck you in to watch.

What’s with those half empty planes?  No wonder they went out of business!

A few years ago, Delta Airlines, facing some pretty harsh customer reviews, began to try to lighten the mood on their flights by having their flight attendants crack jokes over the public address system. The first time I heard a flight attendant ask everyone to make sure they had collected their belongings before exiting the flight, and then say that if items were left behind, they will be found for sale on Ebay tomorrow, I laughed.  Three or four flights later, a few attendants with bad timing, and I was over it.

Then Delta struck gold!  The airline turned the safety video into a really enjoyable experience.  People are more inclined to watch the video when it has visual humor in it, and it lightens the mood on the plane.  The videos are so well done, and there are so many jokes in them, that repeat customers, can watch them and always look for something new.

I thought it might be fun to walk through the brief history of these videos, so without further ado……

It all began with the basic video, and a red headed Southern woman, with a hypnotic “no, no” finger.  It’s straight forward, enjoyable, but not really humorous, unless you count the finger wag (for the record, I do).

Then Delta decided to crank things up a bit.  There’s a new host, but Miss No No, does make a cameo, and I think that was the moment I fell in love with her and with these videos.

Delta got a lot of positive word of mouth and press from these videos, and it was much deserved.  Much like the prices of flights, when one airlines does something, they all do it, and so Virgin America Airlines decided to go in an entirely different direction, and turned their safety video into a swirling dancing and singing celebration of seat belts and floating seat cushions, and a rapping little girl!

The fun didn’t stop there, though.  Delta came back over the holidays and decided to make a seasonal video.  Santa, gifts, dreidels, Yule logs, and even  Alec Trebec pop up.

This week, Delta dropped their latest, and it is glorious! Behold a safety video full of every 80’s reference that could be squeezed in.  Miss No No makes a sort of return, as well, and stay tuned to the end for the cameo, Roger.

International Airlines have also gotten into the fun.  Check out this bit of brilliance curtesy of Air New Zealand.  From the hard accents to the national love of all things rugby, this nothing but enjoyment from start to finish.

Making these videos is hard work, and Delta was nice enough to give us all a taste of that by giving the world a copy of the outtakes which are pretty funny in and of themselves.

Pay attention to the safety video or demonstration, not only could it save your life, it could also thoroughly entertain you.

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