Chris Lynch, head of global aviation at PA Consulting Group, is interviewed about airline safety videos on BBC Radio 5.
Chris is asked whether entertaining airline safety videos are a bit of a gimmick. He explains: “I think they are good because they capture the attention of passengers. On some videos you can hear people laughing over the top and they’re clearly not going to be as engaged. But the more recent ones, particularly Air New Zealand, are actually quite memorable.”
Chris comments on which announcements – live or video – are likely to get the passengers most engaged: “When videos are pumped out over in-flight entertainment systems at passengers, you are a captive audience and a lot of people switch off, take headphones off, get distracted and look around the plane. If it’s an interesting snappy video, if it’s a bit risky or funny, [you’re more likely to] remember some of that, which is the important thing. I think it’s a good thing that people are making an effort to make them less dull than they used to be.”
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A Delta video has 25 internet memes in it but there could be many passengers on the plane who don’t know what a meme is. Chris suggests that six minutes for a video, such as some of these new ones filled with memes can be quite long, but the messages are still clear: “I don’t know if people will stay engaged for that long but if people get a clue where the emergency exists are then that’s brilliant for them. There is a very small possibility that things go wrong but if they do then, I think there’s proof that at least people get off quicker then that’s a good thing.”
Chris explains that there’s a legal reason for showing airline safety videos and that although regulations aren’t very exciting for the public, they are there for a reason. “It’s unlikely that something will happen but getting off in two minutes is better than getting off after five minutes,” says Chris.