Why Aren't Airline Safety Videos Better?

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For frequent fliers, there seem to be two undeniable facts of air travel: the dining options range from tolerable to nightmarish, and the introductory safety videos are too dull to watch. Yet during her trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, ArtsJournal blogger Chloe Veltman was treated to a pleasant surprise by Virgin America's "wonderfully tongue-in-cheek" animated safety film.

"It's the only safety video that I've ever really paid attention to and the other airlines still have a lot to do to catch up," writes Veltman, dissecting Virgin's stylish, self-aware take on airline safety. "It plays up the fact that people are bored of these announcements and makes a virtue of the yawn factor...The animation is imaginative and whimsical. The characters are very two-dimensional and have a sketchy, pencil-drawn look, but they have funny, incongruous features such as a fish head in a suit...For the two reasons stated above and many more, the film is funny. It managed to turn a dry and boring subject into something entertaining."

Veltman notes that even though Virgin America produced the film in 2007, "other airlines haven't followed suit with interesting films." If everyone knows passengers are ignoring them, why are other major airlines slow to update their airline safety videos?

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