Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Do In-Flight Safety Demonstration Stunts Keep Passengers Safe?

Airlines using novel, ingenious and sometimes desperate, measures to keep disinterested passengers’ eyes on cabin crew during the all-important safety demonstration, is not a new phenomenon to California plane crash lawyers. Just a couple of years ago, we had an in-flight safety video from Delta that featured an Angelina Jolie look-alike walking passengers through the “put on your seatbelts and switch off your mobile phones” routine. Last year, Air New Zealand went one step further by showing passengers a video including flight attendants wearing body paint. That's right. Body paint. The video wasn't as risquĂ© as you'd expect, and skillful use of camera angles made sure that the video was safe for children to view.

Last week, passengers on a Philippines Cebu Passenger Airlines flight were treated to a safety demonstration, completely choreographed and set to Lady Gaga music. The demonstration took place after the flight took off with stewardesses dancing down the aisle while demonstrating the now familiar drill. However, just to make sure that there were no allegations of trivializing the safety demonstration, the crew performed a regular, Lady Gaga-less routine just before the flight. One of the passengers was able to capture the footage on a cell phone, and uploaded it on YouTube, where it has become something of an Internet sensation.

There's no doubt that such stunts garner attention on a plane, but it's anybody's guess about how much of that all-important safety information seeps into the minds of passengers. Airlines can be under severe pressure to try out novel and ingenious methods to grab passenger eyeballs during the safety demonstration. This is one of the most boring parts of the flight for most passengers, and many might fail to understand that the information in the demo could possibly save their life during an emergency. In these days of minimal attention spans, airlines probably need to pull out all the stops during the safety demonstration, but they must take care to ensure that the entire exercise doesn’t descend into a mockery of these safety rules.

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