Can Airline Safety be Sexy?

Whether or not you’re a frequent flyer or just occasionally visit ‘the friendly skies’ (I know use of that quote dates me but seriously, that’s what we used to call them and hey, news flash – before 9/11 many flights actually were consumer friendly and enjoyable), you’ve probably seen some of the recent safety videos offered up by most of the major carriers.  Although I’m not sure who went first, I think it might have been Virgin Airlines with this sexy, funky, crazy version released last year and now seen by over 9 million people.

For the purists among travelers, this was quite shocking.  Not because of the content (dancing nuns, and kids putting out cigarettes – oh my!) but because they were, well, having some fun with safety.  Which poses the question, can safety be funBetter yet, should it be?  Since almost every mainstream airline now has it’s own version of this, some even with holiday offerings (thanks, Delta, for this cutie):

Many passengers are appreciating this new use of humor.  On the other hand, it is scaring the BeJesus out of some who think there is absolutely nothing fun or whimsical about strapping yourself into a 80 ton bomb (average weight of a 737) loaded with explosive fuels and about 150 (+-) strangers, many of whom are jacked up on all forms of high, low, and medium pharmaceuticals. Yeah, I thought you might see it my way.

I can almost hear the dialogue at those first marketing meetings when the concept was being pitched to airline executives:  “But seriously, if we can’t have a little fun with a passenger safety video. . .”

Say what?

Apparently every public airline out there has already answered this question by issuing their own video versions of ‘sexy safety’ because we all know that sex sells, right?  Maybe/maybe not.  One thing we do know is that these videos are providing on board entertainment as passengers settle in as opposed to the blatant ignorance many continue to show when flight attendants perform the mandatory pre-flight safety instructions and demonstrations.  Admittedly, even I’ve had an occasional flight when I was a busy fuss-budget in my seat whilst said demos are taking place, but in my defense, I’m a former flight attendant so I’ve been through the drill a few thousand times.  But as I look around me and see so many others in various stages of boredom, business, and/or just plain ‘don’t give a damn about the safety issues’, I sometimes just want to scream out loud and say, “That FA you’re ignoring right now could be your best friend if we crash this puppy!”

Gosh that felt good.

So, what do you think?  Should airline safety include some amusing and entertaining aspect, or have the airlines got it all wrong once again?  You really can’t blame them for attempting to get even a couple heads to turn and pay attention during those critical opening announcements.  But maybe some have been pushing the envelope just a little too far with their in-your-face-fun while trying to gently remind us that flying is very serious stuff.  For my money, I think that the always classy United Airlines has the right idea with their newest version of the safety video, appropriately entitled, Safety Is Global.  Watch this and see for yourself:

There now, wasn’t that a calmer, more sensible approach before launching that aforementioned 80 ton explosive bomb into the friendly skies?

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Just your average middle age gal trying to deal with career/life/family changes and issues while studying people and places, one lobby bar at a time.

2 thoughts on “Can Airline Safety be Sexy?

  1. Terry – I can see both sides of this, but as a frequent traveller (though not a former flight attendant), I certainly see passengers ignoring the instruction announcements. I try my best to pay attention and do count the number of rows in front of/behind me to locate the nearest exit. Making the safety videos ‘sexy’ or humorous is definitely a way to attract attention and possibly get folks to listen and comply. I’d never seen the Delta holiday video before and loved it – though am sure there could be backlash as it only focuses on one December holiday and that you are not longer supposed to bring wrapped packages! The United global spot was new to me as well – well done but in a different way. I had seen the Virgin one before and that is very in keeping with their brand; another airline had an 80’s themed one that I thought was spot on!
    Is safety serious – absolutely! But can you make it fun or explain it in a different way to get passenger’s attention and compliance – I think so.
    Thanks again for making us think!


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