Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Safety First! Airlines Are Using More Engaging Methods to Get the Message Across

Airline safety demonstrations are not only boring but also apparently meant for first time flyers, Neanderthals, or hermits who have never been exposed to the invention of seat belts. ‘To insert the seatbelt low and tight across your lap insert the metal fitting into the buckle. Tighten the belt by pulling on the loose ends of the strap. To release your seatbelt pull on the buckle flap’. What some find self-explanatory others must find perplexing.

Because safety comes first, crew member announcements are trending toward fun and engaging briefings that leave the passenger both educated on emergency procedures as well as enthused and comfortable on board the aircraft. From my frequent travel I’ve found various airlines have employed music, humor, and sex appeal in getting the safety message across.

Music has long been a powerful tool in communicating messages. No matter the genre, through lyrics, music ingrains feelings and messages into listeners. David Holmes, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant has become a company sensation and a push toward lively briefings that get passengers’ attention. Holmes has lyrically and rhythmically translated the Southwest spiel into rhyme and raps the entirety of the safety demonstration. What better way to convey important information than through a tune that people can bounce along with and will remember long after they deplane the aircraft?

David Holmes, Southwest Airlines

On a recent flight to Oklahoma City I was privileged to experience Holmes’ lyrical treat. After all the passengers had boarded he got on the intercom and really shook things up. He requested ‘audience participation’ in giving him a beat by having all the passengers stomp and clap in rhythm. Stomp, clap, stomp, clap…people in all aisles were laughing and bouncing along to the beat. Uptight business travellers began to loosen up and clap along. The other flight attendants got their dance on and the whole plane was a brief but bumping party. Most importantly, we were all having fun and listening to important safety features of the Boeing 737…or Soul Plane as I was calling it.

Check out this link to watch David Holmes' pre-flight rap! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68pSH1sWzOU

Though music is an effective way to brief passengers, humor always wins hearts. On several airlines, flight attendants are incorporating comedy into their announcements and safety demonstrations to entertain and get the attention of travel weary passengers. The following one liners made me giggle despite being in uncomfortable airplane surroundings; being crammed in a middle seat, beside virus-ridden seatmates, breathing 'fake' air, at the mercy of screaming babies, and after being nickled and dimed for every amenity:

  • 'Should we experience a drop in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from above your seat. First, stop screaming. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more'.
  • 'To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised'.
  • 'As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses'.
  • ‘We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of us here at US Airways.'
  • ‘In the case of an emergency water landing follow the instructions of a uniformed crew member…the naked ones can’t be trusted.'
  • As the Ryan Air (budget European airline) flight geared up for takeoff the captain came across the intercom and howled ‘Yeehaw.'
  • ‘In order to enhance the appearance of your flight crew, we will be dimming the cabin lights.'
  • ‘Should this flight turn into a cruise, your seat cushion can be used for floatation’
  • ‘Please be careful when retrieving your luggage and personal belongings from the overhead bins. Shift happens.'
  • ‘If you’re smoking onboard you better be on fire and if you’re on fire we will put you out.'

Smoking on board an aircraft is not only illegal but on Delta, it’s an especially naughty thing to do. Delta Airlines’ safety demonstration video showcases a very sexy redhead, a real flight attendant named Katherine Lee, to deliver the message that, ‘smoking is noooooot allowed on any Delta flight.' She alluringly wags her finger warning passengers not to smoke onboard. Her message implies that if you smoke on the aircraft you'll not only be prosecuted and faced with hefty civil fines but you're also going to get a spanking. Her high cheekbones and full lips have earned her the title of Deltalina, in reference to pop culture’s hottie Angelina Jolie. Apparently sex sells. After seeing this safety video, the only thing that is smoking on Delta Airlines is Deltalina.

Katherine Lee 'Deltalina', Delta Airlines

Not smoking has never been so seductive! Check out Deltalina's spicy safety video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgpzUo_kbFY

Next time you’re on a flight and you hear an entertaining buckle-vest-mask ditty spread the word and leave a comment here on Faraway Pillow. Though most airlines still try to brainwash their rules and regulations through hypnotic, monotone announcements, other airlines like Ryan Air, Southwest Airlines, US Airways and Delta are using more engaging methods to achieve ultimate decorum.

‘Thank you everyone for reading this blog posting. I know you have a choice when it comes to travel blogs and I appreciate you choosing Faraway Pillow. Welcome to the end of this posting or wherever your final internet browsing destination may be. Your luggage can be claimed at baggage carousel number 3. Buh-bye'

7 comments:

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  2. You are hilarious and so are the announcements you gathered up. I wish I could say I have a favorite but I don't. I have about six favorites. Very funny!

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