SINGAPORE: Flying. These days it’s a seemingly safer proposition than a stroll on our skate-scooter-slash-hoverboard-strewn pavements. And that’s a problem, for us and the airlines. Because no one pays any attention to safety instructions before takeoff anymore.
Sure, some (budget airlines, typically) continue to get cabin crews to perform that belts and oxygen masks dance routine - the one that’s only slightly less lampooned than the Great Singapore Workout.
But most (legacy airlines, typically) have moved the safety instructions onto the small screens in front of us. It’s harder to ignore, but most of us much prefer flicking through the entertainment magazine to see what films we plan to watch.
So, no surprise then that carriers have been dipping deep into the creative well to come up with inflight safety videos that will keep us alive in the event of a water landing.
This week, Singapore Airlines put out a clever, captivating, teal-drenched number that walks passengers through Singapore’s best-known landmarks while showing them the right way to stow away their bags.
We loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.
But (there’s always a “but”), we wished it could have been a little more fun. Something more irreverent and quirky, like these five:
WORK IT OUT ON AIR NEW ZEALAND
If you thought Air New Zealand’s Hobbit-themed inflight safety video was the best thing they ever did, think again.
In 2011, the airline roped in American fitness (term used loosely) guru (again, loosely) Richard Simmons to take part in quite possibly the most insane inflight safety demo ever.
Renowned for being a few nuts short of a fruitcake, Simmons and his happy-clappy all-singing, all-dancing gang gets you through a whole bunch of instructions in a get-up so garish it has to be seen to be believed. They look as though they were assaulted by a giant box of Skittles at the departure gate.
Full of high-octane energy, this uptempo lot pulls all kinds of shapes and patterns that the video honestly should come with an advisory for those with pacemakers and nervy fliers prone to panic attacks.
It takes 11 hours to get to Auckland from Singapore, and … how do we say this … but, we could watch this all flight long. Yup.
TURKISH AIRLINES MAGIC
This fresh, zippy vid stars Internet sensation Zach King, a filmmaker best known for creating digital edits that look like magic tricks.
Looking suspiciously like a Eurasian (apt for Turkish Airlines) Jake Gyllenhaal, King charms you through a string of unexpected moves.
Among the highlights, he turns his t-shirt into a life vest, transforms an adult passenger into a confused child and uses a straw to blow up emergency slides.
Laced with a cheery banjulele score that will have you tapping your toes long into drinks service, it’s a bonkers work of art that nails the safety video brief: I.e. to make it memorable.
DELTA GOES VIRAL
Surely it’s cheating to begin an inflight safety video with a keyboard-stroking cat. Not that we are complaining.
Delta didn’t just stop there; they went the whole hog to shoehorn in 25 memes in a stellar effort dubbed “The Internetest safety video on the Internet”.
All the usual viral suspects are there: From the dancing baby, to nyan cat, the annoying talking orange and even the ice-bucket challenge. It’s all a bit cuckoo, but it’s pretty long at five minutes and, chances are, the references will go over your head if you are of a certain vintage.
We’d ask you to go ahead and play and spot the meme, but we think you may be better off paying attention to how to fix that oxygen mask on your tot.
OOH LA LA AIR FRANCE
Chic. That’s something the French do very well.
Air France has leveraged on that cachet, producing a lively video with five models in colour-coordinated outfits moving in synchronised choreography to the various safety instructions.
With a pulsing, hip soundtrack this is a cool, whimsical take on the inflight safety vid – you’d be hard pressed to take your eyes off this four-and-a-half minute wonder. There’s a lot of hair, there’s a lot of cheekbones.
Being bowled over by beauty is one thing, making dubious claims, however, is another thing.
There’s a bit where the flight attendant in the video coos: “Fasten your seat belt tightly. It will elegantly highlight your waistline."
Really? We’ve tried that, you know. And all we’ve gotten is gas.
QATAR AIRWAYS' ALL-STAR LINE-UP
When you are the shirt sponsor for a team like Barcelona and throw buckets of money at them, you can get them to scratch your back every now and then.
In 2016, Qatar Airways called in the favour. The result: A pretty cute inflight safety video featuring cameos by the club's A-listers, Lionel Messi and Neymar included.
The safety instructions have been tailored around all the familiar bits of the matchday experience. Fans buckling their seat belts at their seats, commentators explaining flight safety rules and oxygen masks dropping when the crowd gets excited.
Sure there are corny bits too. Like Luis Suarez shaking his head when the referee’s phone goes off.
All in all a winner, but for about four minutes as you taxi towards takeoff, it sucks to be a Real Madrid fan.