Sunday, March 20, 2011

Airlines, Please Spare Me the Song and Dance

Listen, no good comes of having anyone "perform" or otherwise behave on an airplane like those New York street people who used to wait till the subway train left the station and then stand and loudly demand your attention on behalf of one cause or another.

We're captive audiences here, airlines. I know civility is at a minimum in air travel, but please, let's put a stop to this trend of staging creative "entertainment" in the aisle, instead of calling attention to the standard, boring and very important recitation of the flight safety procedures.

Up there is John Travolta, intruding in a supposedly entertaining video on Qantas flights, for example. [UPDATE: The embedded link to the video has mysteriously disappeared, and I have replaced with a screen grab]

Now, I know that Travolta is a skilled private pilot himself, but what if I don't want to have to be forced to attend a Travolta performance on an airplane?

I see this guy and the first thing I consider is that he believes that we are engaged in a battle with Xenu, the ruler of a galactic confederacy 75 million years ago, who is in league with vile psychiatrists and has devised an evil plot to ... oh, screw it, the man is a prominent Scientologist. Instead of listening to safety information that could save my life, I'm going to be fixed on how anyone as smart as this guy seems to be can buy such crap. What if he tries to sell me a book when I am supposed to be learning where the floatation device is located?

Qantas flight crews are said to be unhappy with the Travolta video in lieu of the actual safety demonstration by flight attendants, and I don't blame them.

Where I do blame flight attendants is on airlines that encourage them to sing and/or dance the safety demonstration. Or to in any other way engage in performing live entertainment for a captive audience.

Yes, this seems to be a trend.

Capital Airlines now does it, following Cebu Pacific's allowing flight attendants to sing and dance the safety demonstration to a loud Lady Gaga song.

You know what? If Lady Gaga did it herself on a plane, I (and I suspect many others) would tell her to sit down and shut the hell up.

Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, has encouraged some flight attendants to do the safety demonstration as a rap song.

At this time, please listen up, flight attendants and pretend airline captains. Most of us don't care to be forced to watch a performance, and a cringe-worthy one at that. Lots of us, believe it or not, have never even seen reality TV, and have no desire to see a version of it on an airplane.

Kindly save the song and dance routine for karaoke night at Olive Garden, on your own time, please. Meanwhile, where are those exits again?



James said...

When someone dies as a result of a bad safety demo, and the airline ends up being sued... Then it will end.

ChefNick said...

I personally believe they should show clips from the great TV documentary series "Mayday" where people, trays and carry-ons are flying all over the cabin in heavy turbulence while they say " . . . and when you are in your seat please keep your seat belt fastened at all times to avoid this situation."

And while they're telling you to make a note of where your nearest exit is, show a clip of a dark cabin with people screaming and climbing over seat backs, with a red glow getting brighter outside the windows.

And when they ask you not to inflate your life vest inside the cabin, show a clip of drowning passengers stuck to the roof of a cabin underwater, desperately trying to claw their way through the roof.

Now THAT'S entertainment.