The seven best airline safety videos we've ever seen

By John Walton, June 29 2012
The seven best airline safety videos we've ever seen

The undisputed king of quirky airline safety videos, Air New Zealand, has scored another hit.

Its latest inflight safety video has gone viral in a seriously pandemic way, clocking up over one million hits on YouTube since making its debut last week.

The line-drawn cartoon is voiced by Kiwi actress Melanie Lynskey (who you might remember as very frequent flyer Ryan Bingham's sister in Up in the Air) and Ed O'Neill of Modern Family and Married With Children fame, and littered with brief appearances by other celebrities.

We enjoy the video for its own sake, and even more so that it will replace the hideously awful Richard Simmons one, which you'll still see in the "best of our wacky safety video" clip selection on Air NZ flights.

Sure, the disco-themed video was quirky and perhaps engagingly different at the first viewing... but after the fourth playing at full volume in a crowded plane, it became one of this writer's most loathed safety videos of all time.

But that got the AusBT team chatting on which are the some of the more memorable safety videos. We've already put the latest Air NZ effort into that basket, and here are six more that'll make you smile!

Retro chic: TAM

For oldschool style, you have to hand it to Brazilian airline TAM. It took the "retrojet" historical paint job you'll see on many international airlines one step further, with crew in retro uniform and historical airline food served (hmm...). This was complemented by a fantastically retro safety video.

It's in Brrrrrrazilian Porrrrrtuguese (you'll see what I mean) but it's interesting how much of the gist you can get.

1980 counts as retro now: Lufthansa

Anyone else remember flying on an Airbus A300? This one's a fascinating watch for historical reasons -- not least for the style of seating at the front and the back of the plane.

The big surprise of the oxygen masks actually dropping from the ceiling is interesting too. (Don't forget to extinguish your cigarettes when that happens...)

Nostalgia for an airline: Northwest

Less intentionally retro is Northwest's 1987-era safety video. Who else remembers looking like that? Northwest, of course, merged with fellow US airline Delta.

Wag of the finger: Delta

Speaking of Delta, it's four years old now, but Delta's catchy "Deltalina" safety video starring flight attendant Katherine Lee (who you can follow on Twitter) is a personal favourite for the contrived roleplays and infamous "no smoking" finger-wag... and maybe for the mobile phones and MP3 players which today seem hilariously clunky.

The "squeaky wheel" concept: Kulula

South African low-cost airline Kulula doesn't have videos, but a passenger filmed this flight attendant's briefing and it's well worth watching, if just for the helium-powered squeaky voice she uses!

The "Awwwwww" Factor: Thomson

File under "adorable" some small British children doing the safety video on holiday airline Thomson:

Nothing to hide: Air New Zealand

Of all Air New Zealand's wacky safety videos, the one with everyone naked, covered only in body paint, is still one of my faves.

Don't forget: you can stay in touch with Australian Business Traveller on Twitter -- we're @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

30 Jun 2012

Total posts 1

Have you seen PR's safety video?

23 May 2012

Total posts 51

Amazing Lufthansa ad: there was even some leg room in the 80s!

26 Aug 2011

Total posts 17

The last Air NZ one, wow!

07 May 2011

Total posts 5

Latest Air New Zealand one - where was the safety demonstration? 3 and a half minutes of inane blather and a hand wildy scribbling around the screen. The poor flight attendants having to stand there during that rubbish. 

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