For years we have been told to set aside our reading materials while an airline safety video is played prior to takeoff, but few people comply with that request. In fact, most openly ignore it–continuing conversations, remaining focused on reading material, or even sneaking a peak at electronic devices. With electronic devices now permitted during all stages of flight, even more will ignore the safety videos. Does that compromise safety? Or have these safety videos outlived their utility?
Safety briefings are mandated by the FAA so any talk of changing policy is purely speculative. But it seems to me that a multi-lingual safety card is sufficient and a video or personal demonstration of how to fasten a seatbelt or use an oxygen mask is redundant. Wouldn’t a simple announcement to the effect of, “Please refer to the safety card in the seatback in front of you for important safety information regarding this flight. Please look it over carefully. While we do not anticipate any problems today, your familiarity with the safety features of this aircraft may be the difference between life and death in case of an emergency.”
Maybe that is a little harsh, but playing a safety video may be fulfilling a FAA mandate but it is not educating people if they are not listening.
Another issue–advertisements. United plays a one-minute intro video before each safety video. I like these videos, but do they turn people off before the safety video even starts? US Airways hawks “a very special credit card offer only available on this flight” on every flight…what a great way to lose people’s attention.
Maybe all airlines should just use Air New Zealand safety videos. On second thought…