Airline On-Board Announcement Videos

A few years ago, I was working on a project site, and making weekly round trips from the East Coast to the West and back. I used the same airline, United, on each trip. United had a new on-board safety video. If you have not seen it before, you should. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I like the sounds in the scene about the pouches. What part did you find clever?

I remember when I started to fly for business in the 1980s. I flew enough early in my career to rack up lots of round trips on Braniff and Eastern, airlines that had died by the end of the decade. Not many airlines had video tubes in their aircraft in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until I started to fly Delta from West Palm Beach to anywhere (you can’t get to heaven in the south without going through Hartsfield) that I first saw the TV tubes poking down from the cabin roof.

Delta did have cabin videos in the early 1980s. They were pleasant but serious, and their new cabin video is a throwback to the 80s.

There is mention of what was one of the first cabin safety videos. This one from Pan Am is one of the contenders. There is a claim that it is from 1988, but it could be earlier.

This video has the real big-hair style of the late 1980s, and smoking on board. You get to see the first guy smoking when the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling. But I think the video was produced before the summer of 1988.

The pivotal year for smoke-free flights in the US was 1988. The Durban Amendment to the FAA Act passed that summer, the mark of federal regulation mandating that all flights shorter than two hours be smoke free. Airlines quickly extended the smoking ban across all domestic flights. Not long after, international flights started to become smoke free.

So, because of the Durban Amendment, I think that this video was planned and developed in 1987, for use in 1988. I wonder if Pan Am ever used it.

If you have been flying as long as I have, you could give the cabin safety announcement. I think I could.

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