American’s New Safety Video Is…

Filed Under: American, Videos

A couple of days ago American unveiled the new uniforms for their 70,000+ employees. While uniforms as such don’t materially change the customer experience, symbolically it was another step towards American and US Airways becoming one airline. Beyond that, if employees feel good in their uniforms, hopefully it boosts their morale and improves the overall experience.

It seems that to go along with the new uniforms, American hasĀ also introduced a new safety video. I guess that makes sense, given that it would be weird if the flight attendants in the safety video had different uniforms than the flight attendants onboard.

Here’s the new safety video:

As a reminder, here’s their old safety video, which was certainly much more traditional:

I’m really not sure what to make of the new video. It’s visually interesting though at the same time lacks a theme, which is perhaps both a blessing and a curse. A fun theme can make a safety video more enjoyable, though at the same time it can also make it annoying, as I know many people felt about Air New Zealand’s safety video featuring Richard Simmons:

What do you make of American’s new safety video?

  1. This is one of the worst safety videos possible:

    1. Completely useless visual aesthetic and effects – seems like a Hollywood studio circle jerk. Some gigantic egoist who flies LAX – JFK in F was like “oh yeah, my studio can do a better video for you.”

    2. The aircraft, seats, doors, slides are completely unrepresentative of what the actual things look like – for n00b travelers and others who aren’t familiar with these things, you’ve made it even harder for them to understand the safety instructions.

    3. Too long – partially because of the transitions and visual effects.

    4. A reminder about how shitty the “new” American is – lots of style and little substance.

  2. 1) The narrator’s voice is very monotonous.
    2) That’s a ridiculously unrealistic amount of legroom.
    3) The colored hands around that one guy with the phone and e-cig are really weird.
    4) The theme is… I don’t know, but there sure are a lot of random mirrors everywhere and people just randomly walking around. I guess it’s supposed to be cool and modern or something.
    5) The celebration at the end is a bit odd.

  3. I don’t really know what to make of it. I don’t actively hate it, but it feels like they tried way too hard to make it weird and different, without being funny or otherwise memorable.

    It’s like the safety video and the airline are at odds identity-wise.

  4. As a sidenote, although they are long, at least the recent United safety videos actually have themes, sets, and scenes that make sense in context.

  5. I actually think it’s fine… as in, entertaining enough to watch the first time, and not so loud and annoying that I won’t be able to block it out in the future. (I’m thinking of you, VX safety video!)

  6. AnonCHI called it. That was spectacularly cringeworthy. It also took 40 seconds of fluff before getting to anything pertinent! Between the abstract productions and “CEO message intros” that are becoming increasingly common, I wouldn’t mind an FAA reg basically requiring safety demos to get to the safety part quickly and include a minimum rubric of real cabin elements.

    Even worse, “Leave all carry-ons behind” was a very quick throw-away line set to a distracting visual. THAT should be the marquee takeaway from any new safety videos given the spate of survivable crashes made worse by pax taking bags with them on the slide. Cut out 20 seconds of fluff to instead drive home the point that taking bags in an evacuation endangers yourself and everyone, and that the carrier will pursue federal prosecution if you disobey crew instructions during an evacuation.

  7. I mean, for those of us who fly exclusively on pre-merger USAirways planes or Eagle flights it’s not like we’re going to see this video anyway…or have Main Cabin Extra if we’re on an A320 or an A321.

  8. This makes flying look even more uncomfortable and less pleasant than it actually is, which is quite an impressive achievement. Windowless warehouse? What about the open sky and the excitement of flight? What about showing off some of those nice new planes AA has bought by the basketload?

  9. Ben, since you fly so much, I’m surprised you like any safety videos. Wouldn’t you rather the airlines make them as short as humanly possible so you can do what you want to do without distraction (including using IFE)? I always hate the safety videos and wish they were only 30 seconds long, which is all they really need. Especially when you fly a lot and see the same videos over and over again.

  10. I am actually very pleasantly surprised with the new video-it shows that there is someone at American who gives a shit. I have always been put off by American’s ambivalence towards the details (i.e. the safety video they having been using up until now almost exclusively features aircraft with the interior and livery they discontinued in 2012). You can love or hate Delta, but I can say with confidence that they would not have continued airing a safety video centered around their old brand for 4 years after the change. The video itself is visually stunning, though definitely a bit off thematically and otherwise. But, I care more that they made a new video, as opposed to how good the actual video is.

  11. @James

    I thought Virgin America as well once they segued into the first set of seated passengers. Except VX does it with great music and song (a big shoutout to Todrick Hall) , not with this measured monotone.

    Also I found the use of seats that looked nothing like real airplane seats confusing and distracting

  12. No likey.

    Someone said it, but the ONE voice they used was monotonous.

    And I liked the previous one where there were numerous people speaking. Helped make it less annoying to sit through for 3-4 minutes.

    The cheering at the end was… stupid.

  13. Wonder if they did it in one take hence the bizarre celebration at the end.
    Hopefully chopped off for the on-board version.

  14. @Eric Yes. I remember when the attendants used to remind you of the basic safety procedures by standing in the aisle and announcing or demonstrating them. That was quicker and better.

    This video is like a multi-million dollar remake of the Air France video with one hundred percent of the charm surgically removed. They even copied the same national colors. No wonder the Franch are always so pissy.

  15. The video is definitely inspired by the cool videos by OK GO…a band with elaborate one-take music videos.

    “The Writing’s On the Wall”

    “Upside Down & Inside Out” – shot inside a plane flying/zero gravity

    “Red Star Macalline Commercial”

    I actually liked it…because I would watch compared to ignoring the current safety video or those of other airlines.


  16. It is similar in an idea to Qatar Airways Safety video with Barcelona

    I’ve flown American transatlantic for the first time recently and will never fly them again, I prefer BA CW All around, even with worse seat. The service was terrible, I have never ever had a crew that was so switched off and came as bored and disgusted that they have to cater for us…

  17. 1) … this is still pretty stylish, but Air France did it better .
    2) it complements the new branding pretty well .
    3) it’s about design, creativity and branding and how it’s expressed and just so happens to talk about the airline safety. For all of you basic bit***s complaining that it isn’t realistic -it’s obvious you don’t get it. You don’t have style or appreciate abstraction . Don’t fly American – fly Spirit, Frontier, sun country ….

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