Today (January 9, 2017): Top 10 most epic inflight safety videos of all time.
There are a lot of aviation geeks among the followers of my blog, so I decided to dedicate a post to a feature that has intrigued me since a couple of years: inflight safety videos. We all know the drill: how to (un)buckle your seat belt, what to do in case of a drop in cabin pressure, and how to adopt the brace position. Those movies – explaining the safety features of an aircraft – used to be extremely boring (and they still are in many occasions) but that changed in 2012, when Air New Zealand launched a Lord of The Rings inspired safety video, which not only got the attention of their passengers, but was also picked up by the global media, resulting in a massive amount of free advertising for the Kiwi airline. So, it did not take long before other airlines joined the game and stepped up their inflight safety videos. I have selected for you 10 of the most creative, innovative, entertaining and funniest in-flight safety videos of all time (at least in my opinion). All of these clips successfully achieve their true objectives, to make sure that everyone watches it closely, even outside an airplane’s cabin (some of them have millions of hits on YouTube).
There is more information (with Youtube clips) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite inflight safety videos in the comments section, or take my poll below!
Bangkok Airways – a regional Thai carrier which promotes itself as Asia’s boutique airline – makes it into my list because its safety video is downright the cheesiest one I have ever seen on a plane. I flew them in 2014 from Bangkok to Koh Samui (a route they have the monopoly on) and I remember that my mouth was hanging wide open in shock when the cringe-worthy video was played in the cabin before takeoff. It’s more of a low-budget video clip than a serious safety message, with flight attendants performing a hilarious choreography on one of the silliest songs ever written.
When Delta released its safety video in 2008, there was nothing truly memorable about it, except for the video’s presenter, Katherina Lee, a Delta flight attendant who gained instant fame after the video went viral and became one of the most watched Youtube clips soon after its release. Katherina’s clear voice, deep blue eyes and especially her infamous “smoking is not allowed” finger-wagger (at 1’50”) got cult status. While the original safety video is no longer displayed in Delta’s airplanes, Katherina still appears in a cameo role in some of Delta’s more recent clips.
Turkish Airlines has created its own take on the traditionally dull safety briefing by adding a touch of magic to its recent inflight safety video. The clip features Zach King, a Youtube star and social media phenomenon most known for his “magic vines” – six-second videos digitally edited to show as if he is doing magic. Watching the clip, passengers are flipped between reality and illusion, with King bringing key aspects of flight safety to life through his signature digital slight of hand tricks.
In 2013, Virgin America took pre-flight safety education to new heights with a safety video set entirely to music and performed in dance. The airline tapped famed Hollywood director Jon M. Chu to develop and execute the vision. American Idol season nine alum, Todrick Hall, created the music and lyrics for the video. The video also features So You Think You Can Dance alums, including Cyrus Spencer, Sasha Mallory, Phillip Chbeeb and Marko Germar. The airline worked closely together with the FAA to ensure all safety regulations and requirements were met throughout the process.
Qatar Airways fun and football-fueled safety video stars FC Barcelona’s La Liga players Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Pique, Rakitic and Mascherano. Scenes from the video show the players bringing important safety messages to life in a uniquely FC Barcelona way, including Suarez taking to the pitch in a life vest, Pique causing a stir as he arrives and also demonstrates the ‘brace position’. Filmed mainly at Camp Nou Stadium, the home of FC Barcelona, the video features many familiar sights for fans such as the pitch, the stands, the changing rooms and even the team bus.
The flight safety film of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, is inspired by Delftware decoration techniques. The clip, which takes place in a traditional royal delft pottery, features more than 1,000 tiles, specially drawn, animated and painted with the utmost precision for this specific purpose. The entire script was first translated into handmade Delftware drawings, which were then painted onto the tiles. Stop-motion video animation was then used to film KLM’s flight safety instructions for passengers, tile by tile.
Inspired by Iceland itself, Icelandair’s safety video includes Iceland’s nature as the stunning backdrop to the traditional and important safety message presented to all passengers. For example, emergency lighting takes on a new, non-threatening identity when compared to the northern lights, and assuming the brace position becomes a calm and collected maneuver when waking up after a long relaxing slumber by the lulling shores of a lake. Being safe has rarely looked so beautiful.
I was pleasantly surprised by Qantas safety video during my recent flight onboard the carrier’s A380 First Class from Dubai to London (read my trip report here). Instead of being confined to the plane’s cabin, the short video features short video features Australians from all walks of life talking passengers through the on-board safety instructions against the backdrop of iconic locations across the country, such as the Whitsunday Islands, Alice Springs and Bondi Beach. The clip made me pay attention, and daydream about by next Aussie adventure.
Air France offers its passengers a humorous take on its in-flight safety measures. The 5 minute, slickly choreographed clip features five fashionably and color-coordinated dressed women who demonstrate the safety rules that are explained by a flight attendant in both French and English (with a very heavy French accent). The clip is “très chic”, fitting the airline’s new branding. Passengers are told hat wearing a seatbelt will not only ensure your safety, but “will elegantly highlight your waistline.”
Since it unveiled its Lord of the Rings-inspired “An Unexpected Briefing” safety video in 2012, Air New Zealand is the leader the world of unconventional safety. As the official airline of Middle-earth, the carrier pulled out all the stops in 2014 to celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy. Complete with cameos by director Peter Jackson and actor Elijah Wood, the clip features costumed figures from the “Hobbit”. Entitled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made”, it is the most watched safety clip on Youtube (more than 16 million views).