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ATW Editor's Blog

New Air France inflight safety video is served with flair

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Air France is joining those airlines that are upping the ante on producing inflight safety videos you might actually want to watch.

The new long-haul France video, which you can see on YouTube, features a flight attendant giving the safety instructions in French and English while five très chic women act out those instructions with flair and humor.

One instruction is particularly interesting – I haven’t seen it before on any other safety videos, but I bet it has become a recurring problem for airlines. The Air France flight attendant tells passengers that if they happen to lose their electronic personal device, they should not manipulate the seat to try and recover it; just call a flight attendant for help. I wonder how many airline seats are being damaged as people frantically try to find their smartphones?

There’s definitely a trend to make inflight safety videos more fun and more personalized to the style and culture of the airline. We’ve noted here, in particular, the United Airlines and Spirit Airlines’ videos. I enjoy these safety videos, with real people, much more than the previous trend for animated videos, which I personally find counterproductive. Instead of paying attention to the information that’s being given, I find myself distracted by how realistic (or not) the cartoon characters are.

But even the most engaging videos don’t always work. I flew from Washington to Tampa last week on a United A320. Seated next to me were a young woman and her son, who was probably about seven and was in the window seat. As soon as the (excellent) safety video finished and just as we were about to turn on to the runway, the mother gave her son a bag of snacks and told him to take them to the rest of the family (father and two daughters) a few rows ahead. The boy promptly unbuckled his seatbelt and stood up! I was in the aisle seat and told him and his mother he must sit down immediately and secure his seatbelt. He complied, but both looked surprised.

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