Airline Safety Videos: From Safe to Sexy

In-flight Safety Video - Delta Airlines

Screencapture from Delta Airlines Video

When it comes to flying in the modern era, our focus of attention gravitates to airport security, body scanners, being groped by TSA agents and potential terrorist threats. The in-flight safety videos and demonstrations that flight attendants go through prior to takeoff tend to be an afterthought. Next time you fly, take a look around and see how many individuals are actually paying attention to the safety video and/or demonstration versus checking their phones, tweeting, texting, or reading.

However, can you really blame travelers for turning a deaf ear and a blind eye while these events happen? If you've flown once and seen one before, you've seen them all. Every safety video goes through the usual drab list of what's prohibited, where the exits are and how to buckle your safety belt. Been there and done that. Airlines have caught on to this nonchalant attitude towards flight safety and have decided to modernize, and in some cases sexualize their videos. Here's a run down of in-flight safety videos starting with the late 80's and early 90's to the modern day sexy safety videos that include "Deltalina" and naked body paint.

Trans World Airlines (TWA) Safety Video on the Boeing 747

This was one of the oldest safety videos I could find on the web and it screams 80's all over it. The big hair, the polyester looking uniforms, betamax looking video quality and the fact that they still allow smoking on the plane give it away.

What's Hot? Nothing, unless you're into teased hair and 80's sitcom intro music.
What's Not? Same reasons listed above

Northwest Airlines 757 Safety Demo Video 1987

The next in our line of vintage safety videos is from Northwest Airlines, circa 1987. This video is complete with 80's introduction music, psychedelic seat fabric and completely conservative clothing on both the flight attendants and passengers.

What's Hot? The narrator lets loose by taking off her...hat.
What's Not? The full video (includes additional promos) is eight minutes long and the outfits are just unflattering.

American Airlines Boeing 767 Safety Video from the 1990s

American Airlines gets down to business right from the start of the video. No pretty female host to try and get your attention, just a nice shiny Boeing 767.

What's Hot? The Christina Applegate look-alike circa 1991 from "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead".
What's Not? The vast array of colorful outfits that the passengers wear. See if you can spot the woman dressed like Grimace.

Delta 767ER Safety Video

Delta's video starts off in typical fashion, an attractive female host to guide you through the key points of safety. However, they take a different approach by using animation. Is it cutting edge for that time, yes. However, does it do the job of keeping your attention? Not so much.

What's Hot? It's a fresh take on safety videos, from the animation to the heavily tanned, ethnic looking host.
What's Not? The animation reminds me of Saturday Morning cartoons from the early 90's.

United Airlines Safety Video A320 Domestic

We now enter the 21st century with United Airline's safety video. Right from the start you get the feeling of a higher produced and modern video from the intro slate, video graphics, women in pant suits and the diverse casting of narrators. What's interesting is that Delta decided to use a different crew for their Boeing 777 and Boeing 747 safety videos.

What's Hot? The use of computer graphics and green screen effects.
What's Not? The piano bar background music.

Malev Hungarian Airlines B767-200ER Safety Video

I can't say I've ever heard of this airline before but their take on the in-flight safety video is definitely unique. The use of computer animation looks to capture that "Second Life" virtual reality feel. What I don't quite understand is how they can pony up the money for the computer animation but start the video with some really cheap looking graphics.

What's Hot? They seemed to have accentuated the curves of the adult female passengers to make sure you know they are female.
What's Not? The closing slate has an ad for the video production company. Lame.

Delta Airlines In-flight Safety Video

Ah the introduction of HD video and to "Deltalina". This celebrity of the skies captivates you with her southern drawl and fiery red hair. The crisp, clean imagery paired with some lounge music captivates you from the start. They also take a new approach, bringing the pilot into the video to let you know that the whole crew is behind you when it comes to safety.

What's Hot? HD video. Deltalina sans neck scarf. The plunging neckline of her uniform.
What's Not? Deltalina's mouth reminds me of Justin Bieber's.

Thomson Airways Safety Video

A fresh new approach to capture travelers' attentions is taken by Thomson Airways by introducing a much younger narration crew. If you love kids, you will think this has got to be one of the cutest safety videos ever produced. Kids with accents make it that much cooler.

What's Hot? The airplane drawing of the exit doors. Keeps to the theme.
What's Not? The music in the background reminds me of an old black and white movie.

"Bare Essentials of Safety" from Air New Zealand

The final video on our list has to also be the most watched safety video of all time. With almost six million views on YouTube alone, the "Bare Essentials of Safety" by Air New Zealand takes the in-flight safety video to a whole new level. Not only is it sexy with its crew sporting body painted uniforms but the music is catchy and high-energy. You can't help but bob your head as you watch with full attention.

What's Hot? Pretty obvious, the painted body suits. Even hotter, the walking away shot at the end.
What's Not? The precise placement of various props to cover the flight attendants' "private" parts.

Find me on Twitter at @patrickObatu and share your thoughts, potential videos for our Video of the Day series and more.

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