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10 Best Airline Safety Videos

In-flight safety videos are boring. Think about it: How often do you see people watching the in-flight safety video with anything more than passing interest? You’re more likely to see people reading, sleeping, or simply staring off into space.

But in-flight safety videos are also full of important information that could save your life in an emergency. Here are 10 in-flight safety videos sure to hold your attention.

Air New Zealand: Air New Zealand leads this list with its famous body paint video. No, those flight attendants aren’t wearing really tight clothes. They’re wearing body paint. Look close (maybe not too close):

Virgin America: Leave it to Virgin America to turn the entire genre of in-flight safety videos on its head. This quirky, animated feature stars offbeat characters (my favorite is the tech-savvy nun) drawn in a style more suitable for an art school thesis than an airplane. Of course, that’s what makes it so good:

Lufthansa: This old video gets your attention simply because it shows how much flying has changed (and how little the average safety video has progressed). The real giveaway? Toward the end of the video, the narrator explains smoking isn’t allowed … in the bathrooms or aisles!

Kingfisher: Kingfisher’s video is cool, but also a little absurd. The airline’s glossy futuristic feel doesn’t exactly mix with the flight attendant’s stuffy attire and the decidedly uncool topic of airline safety. Virgin’s video works because it’s quirky to the point of being ironic. Kingfisher’s video is visually impressive, but asking a flight attendant to pull off Tom Cruise in Minority Report is a little tough.

Delta: Delta definitely wins for Sassiest Video. That finger wag halfway through is something to behold:

Aer Lingus: Aer Lingus’ video is so bad it’s charming. I mean, this video looks like it was done by a 10-year-old—in 1991. Everything from the seats to the overhead bins is a poorly rendered approximation of the real thing. But I will admit I was excited to see the video again on my return leg aboard Aer Lingus this summer. I just hope it didn’t cost much to make:

Thomson Airlines: Airline safety instructions: Dull but necessary. Cute little Irish kids: Well, cute. Put them together and you have an in-flight safety video only the most cold-hearted curmudgeon could ignore:

TAM: TAM is on here twice because its videos are so darn fun to watch. First up, clay animation. As much as I admire the technical wizardry of modern computer animation, I will always prefer the handmade look of stop-motion animation:

TAM’s second video is just plain fun. Shot in retro sepia tones, and with amusing character touches (the cigar man takes the cake), the video is full of energy and certainly not boring to watch. And that, in my opinion, is the hallmark of any successful in-flight video. After all, airlines should want passengers to watch these:

BONUS: This parody from MADtv clearly isn’t a real airline safety video, but I think it sums up how we all feel about flying these days:

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