Betty White Stars In Hilarious Air New Zealand Safety Video

Look around any flight shortly after boarding and you’ll notice that at least 80 percent of your fellow passengers have their head buried in their newspapers or are busy scrutinizing their iPads. Watching the safety video just isn’t a priority for most travelers, even if it should be.

That’s why Air New Zealand likes to put an entertaining twist on its in-flight safety demonstrations, creating videos that get people watching -– even when they’re not on a plane. Previous videos have included elves, dwarfs and wizards, inspired by the movie, “The Hobbit”; an outdoor video featuring nature survival expert Bear Grylls; and a demonstration of safety techniques by the All Blacks rugby team.The latest Air New Zealand safety video to hit the skies features superstar comedian Betty White. The veteran actor visits the fictional Second Wind Retirement Resort where she presents the airline’s safety tips “Old School Style” thanks to the aid of formerMary Tyler Moore Showco-star Gavin MacLeod and a host of other elderly jokesters. Golf carts, hearing aids, and other retirement village props are used to demonstrate safety techniques. But we don’t want to spoil all the jokes for you. Check out the video for yourself below.

Outtakes From Delta Air Lines’ New Safety Video

Late last year you may remember that Delta Air Lines produced a new on-board safety video. It was a replacement to the now-famous Deltalina video, updated with new hosts and a dash of humor. Widely applauded by the community for balancing light-hearted content with informational rules, several versions of the video are now in place among the 722 aircraft in Delta’s fleet.

As a bonus, this time the airline also collected the scraps from the cutting room floor for a series of outtakes and bloopers. The deleted scenes include plenty of line-reading errors as well as a few goofy scenes cut from the main video for one reason or another. Take a look at the exclusive video above.

Prudes take umbrage with Air New Zealand videos

Last month, we told you about Air New Zealand’s new in-flight safety video that features the flight crew in nothing but body paint. That, of course, came on the heels of their new ad campaign featuring their staff in – you guessed it – nothing but body paint. We thought the in-flight video and television commercial were innovative and quirky examples of an airline showing some actual personality. Sadly, not everyone has what we here at Gadling call “a sense of humor.” Some people are offended by the videos and they’re starting to speak up.
According to, many Kiwis who have flown national airline recently think that the risque videos are inappropriate. “Enough is enough, this is our national airline, not a strip joint! I for one won’t bother booking with you again,” one perturbed passenger said. Another Kiwi lodged a complaint with New Zealand’s advertising watchdog. The complaint stated, “All genital areas were hidden but they left nothing to the imagination and (it) conjured pictures that none of us needed.”

Air New Zealand is defending their campaign, which they say “highlights the transparency of the airline’s all-inclusive domestic airfares.”

I, for one, agree with the airline. Lighten up, people. It’s kitschy. It’s creative. It’s devoid of any “genital areas.” The television commercial is better than what most companies throw out there. And the in-flight video beats listening to a bored flight attendant phoning in the delivery of the safety spiel because she’s done it a million times before and just can’t muster up the energy to care anymore.

Just to stick it to the prudes who can’t seem to accept that life is too short to complain about everything, I’m slapping the in-flight safety video in this post. Watch it again for the first time.

Air New Zealand brings back body paint for cheeky safety video

Last month we told you about Air New Zealand’s clever and quirky ad campaign that featured their crew in body-painted uniforms. Well, those creative Kiwis are at it again, and this time they’re mixing the risque with the safety (that’s close enough to a rhyme for me). They’ve gone ahead and filmed their entire flight safety video in body paint.

Seatbelt instructions? In body paint. Life jacket demonstration? In body paint. Water landing safety? Well, you get the picture. Actually, you don’t get the whole picture. Some strategically placed luggage and seat backs ensure that.

Flying as much as I do, I tend to tune out most safety lectures on the plane. Lately, though, many airlines have replaced the flight attendant demos with clever videos, and Air New Zealand may have just raised the bar for the rest of the industry. And so long as that bar is covering the complimentary bag of nuts, I think it’s a great (and cheeky) idea!

The new video premieres on domestic Air New Zealand flights on Monday, so if you find yourself in that corner of the world, hop on board to see it in its natural environment. And check out the bloopers from the filming of the video here. Thankfully, it’s all safe for work!

Galley Gossip: Cell phones on the airplane

Recently on Times Travel asked me who I thought the worst type of passenger was. I wrote, “a business class passenger who does not get an upgrade and ends up in coach.”

But not all business class passengers who end up in coach are bad. In fact, business class passengers are actually my favorite passengers. They know the drill. They know exactly what to expect. So there’s no “on my last flight…” or “what do you mean there aren’t any magazines or pillows?”

The truth is the worst type of passenger is the kind of passenger who thinks he/she travels often, but in reality he/she only travels a few times a year, which isn’t really all that often, not compared to frequent fliers today. Yet they have no problem letting me know just how often they fly (which isn’t all that often) when they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing, something a frequent flier knows not to do, like use a cell phone after the flight attendant has made the announcement that it’s time to turn off and stow all electronic devices.

The following scenario actually took place on board one of my flights…
We’re on the tarmac in Chicago and the flight attendant is walking down the aisle while the safety video is on and she sees a passenger on his cell phone talking and says, “Sir, you need to turn your cell phone off!”

He tells whomever he’s talking to on the phone to hold on a minute, and then he covers the mouthpiece with his hand and asks the flight attendant, “what flight number is this?”

Shaking her head, the flight attendant says, “Sir, you can’t be on your phone right now! The safety video is on. You need to turn it off.” She points to the video monitor and it’s at that part where the guy in the suit reaches up and grabs the oxygen mask and places it over his nose and mouth, looking way too relaxed for a guy who has just placed an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth because he’s probably going through a decompression or something and should probably be hyperventilating along with the rest of us.

The man on the phone rolls his eyes and tells his friend to hold on again. Then he says to the flight attendant, “I JUST NEED TO KNOW THE FLIGHT NUMBER, MA’AM!”

My colleague tells him she doesn’t know the flight number, which could be true because half the time we really don’t know whether we’re coming or going due to the short layovers mixed with long work days spent hopping from one city to another. Not to mention the safety video is on and this guy should not be on the phone right now. At this point it doesn’t really matter what the flight number is.

“TURN IT OFF!” she demands, squinting her eyes, which makes her look a little crazy and has zero affect because he’s still on the phone and just looking at her as if it’s no big deal there’s a flight attendant screaming at him and looking all crazy-eyed.

Sighing, he tells his friend, “The flight attendant is not being very helpful. She’s putting a lot of stress on me.”

Of course this only makes her put even more stress on him. “TURN THE PHONE OFF NOW! I MEAN NOW! RIGHT NOW!” which not only makes him jump, but also works because he actually turns it off and puts it away.

When I shared the above story with a fellow coworker, he wrote…

This lack of compliance causes me concern for a couple of good reasons. First, it establishes that some passengers see flight attendant instructions as optional–and they’re mandatory. That mandatory aspect is for everyone’s safety in an emergency, and in order to be effective, that authority covers every instruction they give. Second, as a captain, I always weigh whether I want to take Mr. Optional-Instructions-Cell-Phone-Guy into the air and just hope when he’s given an instruction, he’ll comply. Why would I?

Cell phones on the airplane, some people want them, others don’t. Me, I fall into the don’t category. Why? Because it’s a me, me, me world we’re living in and people today don’t always have common courtesy for those seated around them.

Tell me what you think.


Photo courtesy of Jung Hong (cell phone), Beigeinside (flight attendant)