Airline safety (video) dance

Today Virgin America releases its new, long awaited, much anticipated pre-flight safety video. It’s the first time Virgin has updated its safety video since the droll animated cult classic that debuted with the airline in 2007. As a matter of fact, the flashy new video is a complete departure from the previous version. So fasten your seat belts!

To me, it looks like an episode from Glee, and I keep expecting Mr Schue to come in and quiet everyone down and get to the serious business of safety. It’s fun to watch and definitely gets my attention. (High point for me is at 3:32- the bit about not smoking, “don’t you do it!”) But since TravelSkills reader are frequent travelers… and will undoubtedly see this over and over again… I wonder how many times they’ll smile at it before they start to grimace… but who knows? Take a look, channel your inner Simon Cowell,  and leave your comments below! 

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Screenshot of Virgin's clever animated safety video from 2007

Virgin America’s original safety video has been viewed 750,000 times on YouTube. Click here to see it.

This is the first time an airline has set an entire safety video to music and performed in dance. Virgin says that its in-flight operations and safety teams worked closely together, with Federal Aviation Administration oversight, to ensure all safety regulations and requirements were met throughout the process.

Bay Area native and movie director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2) shot the video in Los Angeles, using a cast of choreographers and characters including alums you may recognize from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. (Hello, Todrick Hall!)

To celebrate the new video, the Virgin is launching a one-day “Buckle Up, To Get Down” special offer of up to 20%*off Virgin America flights for travel November 4, 2013- December 17, 2013 (restrictions apply).  To get the deal, use the promo code GETDOWN on Virgin America’s website at by midnight tonight. Photos, trailer and more info here:

So what do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Do you like the old video or the new one better? Please leave your comments below. 

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Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here’s what else you need to know about Bay Area Travel over the last month:

>Riding the Red Carpet Route to London! 

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>Delta dumps SFO-Tokyo flight

>Slideshow of the swish new Star Alliance lounge at LAX


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  • Chris McGinnis

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing that. I’ve yet to see a flight attendant dance along… but now I’ll be on the lookout for that! — chris

  • Lyrica

    I fly VA every week between SFO and PDX, and it got old after a single viewing. It’s an unbelievably insidious brain worm; I wake up with it in my head at 2:00 am. I can only imagine those poor flight attendants who have to hear it multiple times every day. (Though I will say that the first time I saw it and recognized Cyrus from SYTYCD, I did give a little grin.) Apparently, the attendants are “encouraged” to dance along, but I had never seen that until this last weekend, when one of the male attendants – who happened to be a professional figure skater – did an entire very energetic routine along with it. I couldn’t decide if it was more entertaining or cringe-worthy, but I had to give the guy credit for diving in whole hog…he wasn’t the least bit embarrassed.

  • Owlbaby

    Well, at least they’ll have the chance for a do-over when it implements the change to the electronic device rules.

  • Richard

    Several points:

    The video take 5 minutes to deliver a message that could have been delivered in 3 minutes while using the same Glee format. At a certain point, the entertainment factor diminishes compared to the fact that it could have/should have finished (and the traveler could move onto something else). It is much longer than it needs to be.

    The video bridges into the realm of “look at how hip we are”. It is too cute (by about 2 minutes) and reflects an inability to edit — because everything filmed is great idea — why would we want to edit. It needs an edit.

    Add Contortion to a limited set of talents that people do not want to view. It just looks unnatural when a leg is twisted behind the back. Who see’s that and says — “Twisted person, cool! I want to look more!” Dancing — yes. Contortion — no.

    Agree with the comment that the energy level when you are on the 6:00 AM flight to JFK, it is misaligned with the mood of the plane.

    The low-key nature of the old video was perfect as it added humor, was visually entertaining, not any longer than it needed to be. Understand the need of the update — but the goal just got away from VA (and I fly them regularly).

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  • Barry

    Interesting approach. Though I suspect that I am not the target audience, I can’t imagine sitting through that more than once. Also, the way it was shot doesn’t allow for any edits. Which is too bad because it’s already outdated (see recent FAA change on electronics during take off and landing).

  • Chris McGinnis

    Reminds me of the dance beat and dark hallways at W hotels as I exit room at 7 am for a day of meetings!

  • Henry Harteveldt

    Thumbs down. It’s an annoying assault on my senses. Do I want to see this on a 6 AM or 7 AM departure? No. Do I want to see this on an evening departure, after a long business day? No. Agree with those who like Delta’s approach to safety videos. Air New Zealand also does a good job with its safety videos.

  • David Troup

    I think if I was flying VX regularly I would get so sick of this video that I’d want to use the nearest emergency exit.

    I also don’t think it communicates the subject matter well.

    I agree with those praising Delta’s current batch of videos, I think they are the best out there. Informative, not overly long, clever and funny, and there are multiple versions which gets even frequent flyers to pay attention just to catch the humorous parts.

  • Frank

    Delta’s new video is far better IMHO – A good mix of humor and professionalism.

  • Frank

    Note to self: Never fly Virgin America. Partially because I don’t want to fly with an airline that has an attitude to security like that, and partially because I don’t want to have to put up with that on every flight.

  • Mike Lee

    Exactly. The old video was calm… and soothing. So much energy in this new video, and I got a headache about 30 seconds in. Keep it simple man….

  • Eddie Van Ham

    wow, thats cool

  • Kerry

    got bored half way through.

  • flybizz777

    you hope they are that energetic and enthused during an emergency! the message though…

  • JK

    I agree with Mike – WAY too much. Flying stresses me out enough as it is, and this video would make it even worse. I couldn’t make it past the first 45 seconds before wanting shut it off. I like Air New Zealand’s & Delta’s calmer, more subtley humorous approaches much better.

  • petermjensen

    Very nice :-)

  • Mike Lee

    Whoa… too much. I liked the old one wayyyy better.

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