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Qantas safety video bad for emergencies, argues FAAA

written by Adam Thorn | January 25, 2024

The Flight Attendants Association of Australia has claimed Qantas’s new in-flight safety video is so focused on promoting the airline that it would be bad preparation for a Japan Airlines-style emergency.

Speaking to 3AW Melbourne, the union’s federal secretary, Terri O’Toole, argued there wasn’t even a single part of the footage filmed on an aircraft, meaning those on board wouldn’t be familiar with the correct procedures in the event of a major incident.

“I think the oxygen mask is on a beach,” she quipped.

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It comes after the Flying Kangaroo this week unveiled a new video that features crew and frequent flyers sharing information from destinations as varied as Litchfield National Park and Lapland. Qantas has insisted the video puts safety first but tries to make instructions “as engaging as possible” for flyers “who might otherwise tune out”.

O’Toole, however, argued the video should mimic Japan Airlines’ version, which has been hailed for helping passengers get out alive of a burning A350 earlier this month.

“It’s very succinct and to the point,” she said. “Don’t touch a bag. Get off the plane. That’s more important.

“Listen to your crew members’ directions. Follow what they tell you to do. It’s very succinct and very direct. And it makes people comfortable that in an emergency, we know what we’re doing.”

O’Toole also attacked the video for being sexist and outdated for showing a female pilot in a swimsuit.

“Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I didn’t think that that was a respectful way to show our incredibly well-trained pilots.”

The FAAA has had a difficult relationship with Qantas, despite last year agreeing to a new deal around working terms.

In 2022, for example, Qantas accused the FAAA of running “a scare campaign” and claimed it had “continually misrepresented the facts” while it was negotiating an enterprise agreement with its long-haul cabin crew.

Andrew David, then CEO of Qantas International, said, “The union’s default position is that the company can’t be trusted and should always give more. That’s simply wrong.”

The new video, meanwhile, replaces the previous iteration released weeks before COVID-19 that highlighted Qantas’ 100-year history.

It featured footage from the Qantas Founders Museum’s Avro 504K replica aircraft, 1919 Model T Ford and its 1922 National Heritage-Listed hangar – alongside ’70s moustaches and ’80s mullets.

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