British Airways’ New Safety Video Is… Sort Of Brilliant!

Filed Under: British Airways, Humor

This morning British Airways sent me the press release for their new safety video. When I first saw the headline I thought to myself “oh boy, this is going to be boring.” I find that for the most part British Airways takes themselves far too seriously (unlike Virgin Atlantic), so I thought there was no way they’d have a safety video that’s actually humorous.

Well, I was wrong, and I sort of love British Airways’ new safety video. Not only does the safety video have a bunch of celebrities, but it’s also intended to raise money for British Airways’ “Flying Start” charity. Here’s how the video is described:

A team of top celebrities including Gordon Ramsay, Rob Brydon, Sir Ian McKellen and Thandie Newton make appearances in British Airways’ entertaining new pre-flight safety video, which launches in September.

“We’ve worked with Comic Relief since 2010 and our customers have already helped us generate £16.5 million for great causes. We hope the new video will enable us to exceed our goal of raising £20 million by 2020.”

Ten celebrities are seen auditioning in humorous sketches in front of comedian Asim Chaudhry, as his People Just Do Nothing character Chabuddy G, for a coveted part in the safety video, while simultaneously demonstrating the safety features and procedures on the aircraft.

And here’s the video:

Humor is obviously very subjective. Personally this is right up my alley, and I got a good chuckle out of several parts of this.

I’m especially amused to see Gordon Ramsay in there. This is totally random, but I’ve (unintentionally) seen him in person four times, and two of those times were when flying British Airways. So I guess British Airways is actually one of his preferred airlines (maybe he could have them on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and talk about how the food is “f*cking dreadful”). 😉

My one complaint about the video is how long it is. At over six minutes, it’s one of the longest safety videos out there. For example, Air New Zealand’s newest safety video has quite some production quality, and still manages to be under four minutes.

What do you make of British Airways’ newest safety video? Love it or hate it?

  1. The clue is in the title “Director’s Cut”. Like a Director’s Cut of a film – it’s longer than the standard version …

  2. Some parts, like the one about the life jackets, contained a lot of small and “funny” comments during the actual explanation. I can imagine listening to and understanding what’s being said much becomes much more difficult for non-native speakers of English.

    Other than that, I found the video to be funny. Except the concerns mentioned above, thumbs up to BA! 🙂

  3. I never knew Gillian Anderson had a ‘natural’ British accent. I knew she was born in Chicago, but just learned she lived in UK from ages 2-11 (and retained her accent when she and her family returned to the US).

  4. This will be just as annoying as the Qatar FC Barcelona video. But maybe running it once will make it ok. Qr run it twice in English and Arabic. Ugh!!!!!

  5. The BA song gives me goosebumps. Makes me all excited thinking about flying and vacations. Very well done. Nice to see the airlines stepping out of its mold. Now if only the economy seats and cabin crew (in terms of being friendly) can match other airlines…

  6. Oh I think it’s a bit charming and funny. I’m sooooooo tired of the current safety video.

  7. Its funny (mostly due to rowan atkinson play of mr. Bean and ramsey’s censored words) but….. it would be interesting if clarkson-may-hammond or neville-carra act as the host….. the chemistry would make it different.

    But maybe those people are not cheap or just normal (don’t like flying BA)

  8. I like it a lot. Really fresh. I actually think the VS one (and I’m a huge fan of VS) is too flippant for a safety video.

    Had a great meal from Heathrow to Aberdeen yesterday, excellent service again on two Jersey flights. One of the nicest meals in the air to JFK, and news of great improvements to Club World.

    Maybe people will give Alex Cruz a chance?

  9. Here’s another complaint. How much did BA pay for this? Because they should rather bring food back than hire celebs.

  10. Passengers are more likely to pay attention to safety videos like these. People escaping fiery planes with their luggage obviously weren’t listening to the safety video before departure.

  11. Nothing beats the British or Irish sense of humour. Well done BA and kudos to all the celebrities for their sense of fun.

    Unfortunately American and MEA will never follow suit. The British celebs look real as the American celebs are all fake teeth, tits and testicles.

  12. Pretty good effort. I enjoyed it

    I think my least favorite aircraft video at this moment is the awful welcome to America video AA shows with that annoying Customs agent explaining it, I have never met a US immigration agent like that , they should make it more realistic on how grumpy they can be.

  13. The video is not “sort” of brilliant, is outright brilliant! Now, if only they had better seats and better food to match…

  14. @Bob. You do realise this if for Comic Relief right? If you don’t know what that is I suggest you Google it. They won’t have been paid….

  15. I will be a torture after a few times. The QR is the worst as it features twice, once in English and a second time in Arabic

    Can we go back the short and straight to the point safety videos?

  16. It’s great to know that (as much of a good thing the flying start envelope is) that it’s as important as the safety of evacuating an aircraft.

    As someone who actually works for BA, it’s a pretty shambolic attempt to glorify what is currently an airline that has bigger pressing issues.

    It’s a terrible safety video, and Alex Cruz should sleep well at night knowing that he is single handed flushing the airline down the toilet. #muppetandpuppet.

  17. I’m glad they are FINALLY updating that cartoon one with the song that gets miserably stuck in my head for a week after a couple of connecting long-haul flights.

  18. A poor and unoriginal attempt to imitate the clever Peter Jackson Hobbit series and more recent safety videos screened by Air New Zealand.

  19. Obviously this has a limited run due to being tied to the charity. I’m sure all the celebrities donated their time. Probably why they chose the “spartan” set/surroundings also.

  20. LOVED MR BEAN!!! Him and Gordon Ramsay basically made the entire video. No clue who the other actors are….

  21. @Rami I was going to say exactly the same thing, at least its only showed once in one language!
    Saying that, now that Qatar Airways sponsorship deal with Barcelona is coming to an end (if it hasn’t finished already) then I wonder if they will have to make a new video?

  22. Rami is BANG ON! These videos are fun to watch for the first time, however, much like Qatar Airways, they become tedious for frequent fliers due to the running time of the ‘safety’ video :p

  23. This safety video will be funny for people that already know how to follow the rules when flying. People from countries like China will continue to ignore the safety videos no matter if it’s clever or not. Cool though.

  24. What I love about this is how much of the humour won’t translate to non-brits! I actually want to fly BA to/from the states just to see some of the blank looks this will get.

  25. Jason,

    You clearly don’t understand the Humour in the video. Whether or not you recognise the people in the video tells me you are clearly missing the point !!

  26. Jason,

    You clearly don’t understand the Brtish Humour in the video.

    Whether or not you recognise the people in the video tells me you are clearly missing the point !!

  27. As a former BA long haul Flight attendant, this is only what we frequently used to do, to attract attention passengers who were reading newspapers/chatting during what is fundamentally important information. What did we used to do:
    Spread Bovril (yes we carried it in dry stores!) around the oxygen mask so it transferred to the crew member’s face when putting it on. Always caused a laugh and attention.
    Sellotaped a (masked) Playboy centrefold to inside the safety leaflet; upon instant mirth from the pax, removed.
    Announcement “There is a whistle, here FOR ATTRACTING THE ATTENTION OF PASSING SAILORS”
    Of course at the time we would have been carpeted for such antics, but the principle I think is a good one. The principle being, get attention anyhow you can! It has been proved time and time again that every second counts. You DO have to know how to don a life-jacket, where your nearest exit is, how to use the oxygen mask.

    However, I do think that it will not be effective to an international audience (maybe BA know that only Brits fly with them, no one else wants to!) and therefore dangerous as a safety video.

    Secondly as you can see from the above, if BA had used cabin crew, the result could have been much better, with a better eye on the safety issues of the video (cabin crew being the last to leave the plane, save for the Captain, so it’s actually close to their hearts)

    And finally I couldn’t agree more that Alex Cruz is single handedly demolishing BA. He’s entitled to do that with an airline called Vuelling, QuickJump, GetThereCheap, QuicknEasy or any other low cost carrier, but have some respect for the name of the organisation, and its former reputation. It’s time for your quick and nasty implementations to cease and go. The sooner the better. Take a leaf out of Emirates (well, more than one, actually!) whose CEO in waiting, the low cost Mueller who lasted only a few weeks before they parted company. Agreeably, I understand.
    And although not relevant to the safety video, while I’m on the subject of Low Cost Cruz I suggest he reads up about Freddie Laker’s collapsed Skytrain who tried short haul principles on long haul flights and failed, but his protege, Richard Branson learnt and succeeded with regard to service requirements for long haul flights.

  28. I presume they have stopped using seat belts on British Airways now too, as there is not a single mention of them.
    Maybe it’s another cost cutting exercise by Alex Cruz.

  29. Is the actual safety video available somewhere to watch or does BA expect people to actually fly with them to see it?

  30. The omission of seat belts escaped me! Well said. The real reason is probably that they haven’t had any new customers for years, so they all know the drill. Alex Cruz please note, save money on the whole issue!

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