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Emirates takes a swipe at flashy safety videos

written by Jake Nelson | July 9, 2024

Emirates’ “no-nonsense” 2024 safety video is filmed aboard one of its planes. (Image: Emirates)

Emirates has unveiled a new “no-nonsense” safety video which gently pokes fun at other airlines’ showier offerings.

The video, filmed aboard an Emirates plane, forgoes celebrities and location shots in favour of flight attendants and passengers demonstrating safety in the context of an actual aircraft. It comes after Qantas’ new safety video earlier this year raised concerns for seeming overly self-promotional.

“This is your no-nonsense safety video. We do not have dancers breaking into song, characters from movies, or celebrities trying to be funny, I’m afraid,” a female flight attendant says to introduce the video.

A male flight attendant then adds, “But at Emirates, safety always comes first. So it’s important that we take you through some safety features before take-off, and then you can all get back to our award-winning entertainment system.”

The Emirates safety video stands in contrast to one released by Qantas earlier this year, which was loaded with location shots but criticised for not having any scenes on an actual aircraft. Qantas insisted in January that the new video puts safety first, but tries to make instructions “as engaging as possible” for flyers “who might otherwise tune out”.

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Speaking to Australian Aviation, Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia national secretary Teri O’Toole – one of the critics of Qantas’ video – said Emirates’ offering achieved what it set out to do.

“The Emirates video points out the errors made by other airlines using these videos as travel blogs. The reality is that passengers need to know what to do in an emergency and the chances of survival and avoiding serious injury are increased when they pay attention,” she said.

“The video is clear; it is showing cabin crew who are the first responders in uniform and on the aircraft. It highlights the necessary information to make sure every passenger is safe.

“It’s a job well done, and no doubt cost a lot less than some of the other more extravagant and exotic ones we have seen.”

O’Toole in January commended a similarly “no-nonsense” Japan Airlines video, which was hailed for helping passengers get out alive of a burning A350.

“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.”

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