What are the best safety demonstrations?

Airline safety demonstrations can be boring, even when the video is pretty. That’s why, a few years ago, I could never imagine that such videos could go viral. The latest one is, of course…

The dancing Filipina flight attendants on a Cebu Pacific Air flight, showing seatbelts, oxygen masks and life vests while “Just Dance” from Lady Gaga and “California Gurls” from Katy Perry booms in the background! Wow! What a way to get people’s attention! On its Facebook page, the airline is delighted with the “overwhelming response” from the public. At the time of posting, this video has been retweeted countless times and gathered about 4 million views in about 3 days, not to mention all the copycat videos around there.


In June 2009, Thomson Airways released a cute safety demonstration where professional flight attendants or actors were replaced with children. When I first saw it, I thought “Oh no… How low are they sinking to get people to watch?” But then I realized it was funny and educational, and it didn’t make of safety a mockery. Plus, the children were professional! One is used to hear “If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” Of course, they removed “child” from that sentence.


Just a month before that, Air New Zealand released its “Nothing to hide” ad campaign with body painted flight attendants and pilots. The amount of media attention at the time was impressive, and so was the amount of passenger attention, probably. Plus, you gotta love Gin Wigmore’s “Under My Skin”. Unfortunately, it seems that this video is too controversial to be shown on the entire route system, as it was reserved to the Boeing 737 domestic services.


In February 2008, Delta was one of the first airlines to release a viral safety demonstration video on YouTube. Katherine Lee, the actual flight attendant talking to the camera, was immediately dubbed “Deltalina” by the media, because she apparently looks like Angelina Jolie. Well… maybe. The video is catchy not because the flight attendants are dancing, naked or still in elementary school. It’s because of the small touches like “Deltalina” waving her finger to indicate that “Smoking is NOOOOT allowed”, the tapping of the foot, the upbeat music… all things that you don’t expect from a serious safety demo. I’m glad this video survived the Northwest merger.

Do you have other safety demonstration videos to recommend? Comment below! And if you’d like to pretend you’re a flight attendant for a moment, have a look at my inflight passenger announcement scripts for inspiration.

“Thank you for your attention and enjoy your flight!”


2 thoughts on “What are the best safety demonstrations?”

  1. Air New Zealand did make a minimum-change version of the “Nothing to Hide” video for the Airbus A320.

    In late August , Air New Zealand replaced the “Nothing to Hide” safety video with a new video for its 737s and A320s, entitled “Crazy about Rugby” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f1awn9vBZE) – they’re wearing uniforms this time, but the video is equally as funny.

    1. @Laydan: Yeah, I saw the “Crazy about Rugby” safety video but I figured I’d focus on the best video for a handful of airlines. I also saw the newest video featuring innuendo-prone Rico for Boeing 777 services. Thanks for commenting 😉

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