Here are 7 of the best and most hilarious in-flight safety videos to grace your airplane screen…
1. Virgin America Safety Video
Leave it to a company like Virgin to pull out all the stops. This Virgin America safety video is five full minutes of expertly choreographed dance routines, pop-quality vocals and high level production. Instructions on fitting your safety mask are delivered by a pre-pubescent female rapper (whom one must admit does a pretty awesome job) while a quintuplet of suited-up Men In Black style robot dancers demonstrate how to use a life vest.
For all of this, Virgin America don’t neglect the message. One can only imagine the effort that went into making sure everything in this catchy video rhymed and flowed whilst still ticking the boxes on every bit of safety information. You can’t be dropping out a few syllables for the sake of better flow where a life or death situation is concerned.
Entertaining it may be, but you probably wouldn’t want to be forced to watch it over and over (and over) again. As some of the YouTube commenters rightly point out – it’s noble to spare a passing thought for the flight attendants who are.
2. Delta Airlines ’80s video
Delta throws it way back to the ’80s for what can only be described as a humorous safety video tinged with nostalgia – for anyone who lived through the infamous decade of teased hair and leg-warmers, that is. For those who didn’t, it’s none-the-less amusing.
Delta’s video works so well because the verbal content is completely in the present, so in a way is disconnected from the visuals. When the retro-haired flight attendant is talking about laptops, we’re watching a geeky-looking dude reluctantly stow his Atari under the seat. When she mentions Wi-fi, the big-haired patrons just shrug and look confused.
There’s a cameo from everyone’s favorite Alien Life Form – ALF – and from several extremely bad toupees. Scrunchies, sweat bands, and fingerless lace Madonna gloves are all there too, reminding you of why things from the ’80s should stay in the ’80s.
The video was made with a cast of over a 100 people – including 20 actors, 80 extras, six flight attendants and a pilot – and included authentic 1980s Delta flight attendant uniforms.
3. Icelandair Safety Video
Icelandair took a different approach to keeping travellers’ eyes glued to the screen. There’s no hilarity here, no quirky trips back in time, no song and dance. Instead Icelandair set about evoking a mood. Watching the video, with its tinkling piano soundtrack and perfectly selected imagery, a tranquility washes over you. This is pretty much as far from disaster as you can be.
The video uses evocatively shot scenes of Iceland for dual purpose: to juxtapose the text about safety with something other than the usual belt buckles and safety vests, and to promote the beauty of the country’s natural landscapes. When something does need to be demonstrated, it’s by a series of sketches that appear overlaid on the footage, or through synonymous objects that fit the adventure story unfolding on screen. Oxygen isn’t just from a mask, it’s from breathing in the crisp, icy air at a mountainous peak. A life vest isn’t just what you don in an emergency, it’s what you wear to go water rafting. And low level lighting isn’t just what you find in strips along the airplane isle, it’s the magical swirling colors of the Northern Lights.
Who’d have thought an airline safety video could be beautiful? Icelandair managed it.
4. Delta Airlines Safety Video Version 5
Delta say so themselves: they want to encourage even the most frequent of frequent fliers to pay attention to their safety messages – so they’re “constantly adding fresh scenes and moments of fun” to their videos. This one isn’t as out-there as the 1980s version, but instead it keeps you attentive with its subtleties and quirky details. You almost want to watch it again to ensure you picked up on them all. Almost.
That said, the nuances of Delta’s video can be kind of distracting. Is that a guard wearing a big black bearskin cap in the background when the air hostess is talking about the location of the exits? What are those muppet feet dangling in the next row back when we’re meant to be listening to information about life vests being under your seat? And is that a guy in old period costume out of focus behind one of the narrators (who could have been talking about anything, you’d never know if you were too busy trying to determine if that was an 18th century American Revolutionary). Still, it well and truly beats the standard safety pitch.
5. Air New Zealand’s Safety In Paradise Video
Fact: babes in bikinis are always going to get people’s attention. Air New Zealand seems to know all about it, so they enlisted the aid of models Jessica Gomes, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis and Ariel Meredith – along with a cameo from veteran Christie Brinkley – to impart the all-important safety information. Shot on the paradisal Cook Islands, the video was produced in collaboration with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Hence the high concentration of fit, curvy babes.
Air New Zealand’s video works because it doesn’t bother to take itself too seriously. This is all summed up by a slow-motion hair flick in the life vest wearing scene. It all ends with some grass skirted booty shaking and breathtaking Kiwi night skies, just in case the Sports Illustrated beauties weren’t quite enough.
6. Air New Zealand Bear Grylls Safety Video
Bear Grylls is not exactly known for being risk averse. In fact you might say he knows everything about survival but very little about safety. If he wasn’t so enthusiastic about doing utterly unsafe things, he wouldn’t need to know so much about survival. But you can see where Air New Zealand were going when they enlisted him as the host of their A320 safety video. If you did find yourself crashing into the depths of the wilderness, you could only hope Grylls was sitting beside you. Where Man versus Wild, he tends to come up trumps.
He’s also likely to be the only one willing to actually test out an Air New Zealand life vest, in the absence of any disaster, by jumping headlong into a river. In their thematic safety video, Air New Zealand netted star power, sweeping views of the Kiwi countryside, and informative content. Not a bad effort at all.
7. Air New Zealand Disco Aerobic Safety Video
Yes, it’s yet another from Air New Zealand, who seem to have unlimited enthusiasm for dreaming up new ways to make airline safety fun. This one merges a disco backdrop with the antics of American fitness personality Richard Simmons into an aerobic safety presentation.
Brimming with his trademark hyper enthusiasm, Simmons delivers cheesy pun-liners like “no sweat!” and – with reference to oxygen masks, of course – “it’s time to take a breather!” Adopting the brace position is an aerobic movement, and blowing into your life vest mouthpiece means you’re pump, pump, pumping it up. And to conclude? A fitting end to the aerobic theme, with Simmons declaring you – ahem – “fit to fly”!