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 offormer “Mary Tyler Moore Show” co-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.
“The Hobbit” opens in theaters this winter, and Air New Zealand is taking full advantage of the event to jump on the publicity train. Or publicity airplane, rather, as the carrier just revealed its newest Hobbit-themed Boeing 777, replete with garish external artwork rivaled only by ANZ CEO Ryan Fyfe’s collar buttons.
It’s actually a pretty great looking airplane (so is your shirt Mr. Fyfe, I tease), though I wish that the cabins had also been upgraded. We could call economy “The Shire” moving forth while first class could go as, say, Mordor. “One does not simply walk into Mordor without a flight attendant barring the aisleway.”
Fans of the popular book and film “The Hobbit” now have another reason to travel. Air New Zealand will soon be launching themed flights in honor of J R.R. Tolkien’s novel and Peter Jackson’s two-part movie.
The two-year partnership makes perfect sense, as the natural landscape of New Zealand was the backdrop for the film.
According to CNNGo, “Passengers flying between New Zealand’s capital Wellington and the United Kingdom or the United States have a chance of being on the Hobbit-themed flights.”
While the official launch date is not confirmed, it has been decided that a Boeing 777-300 will focus on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” while a Boeing 777-200 will set the backdrop for a flight centered on “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” Changes will be made in safety briefings, flight attendant uniforms and airline social media contests to coordinate.
Says Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing for New Line and MGM’s parent company, Warner Bros, “The promotions planned by Air New Zealand in support of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are both eye-catching and innovative and we look forward to collaborating with them on the campaigns for both films.”