British Airways Has A Hilarious New Safety Video

Filed Under: British Airways, Humor

Many airlines put quite a bit of effort into their safety videos nowadays. Rather than just making them informational and boring to the point that people tune out, they try to make them engaging, so that people are more likely to pay attention.

Last July British Airways unveiled a safety video that I found to be both bizarre and hilarious. Essentially they had celebrities pretend that they were auditioning for a part in the British Airways safety video, under the direction of a crazy director.

British Airways is now back with a sequel to that safety video, which will be available on short-haul flights starting in July, and on longhaul flights starting in August.

This time around the video features Sir Michael Caine, Asim Chaudhry, Olivia Colman, Jourdan Dunn, Naomie Harris, Joanna Lumley, and David Walliams. In the video, the celebrities are once again seen “auditioning” for a role in the safety video in humorous sketches.

Here’s the director’s cut of the new video (the one actually shown onboard should be a bit shorter):

Humor is highly subjective, and I’ll be the first to admit that I probably have a pretty dumb sense of humor. However, personally the video made me laugh several times.

I’ll also say that I think this is amusing for someone who flies British Airways occasionally, though if you’re a super frequent flyer I imagine this would get old pretty quickly. I’ve probably flown British Airways half a dozen times since the last video was introduced, and I laughed every time.

I love the humor, though it always surprises me to see this coming from British Airways, since I’ve always felt like they take themselves too seriously. So it’s nice to see them let loose a bit with a video like this.

What do you make of British Airways’ new safety video?

  1. I found it incredibly irritating. I tuned out almost immediately. I think BA can do better than this.

  2. I quite like the sequel and given the director’s cut is 6mins maybe they were able to cut the relevant onboard safety video to a more bearable length than last time. Either way brilliant for marketing purposes I must admit.

  3. Any look on FT will tell you how much BA’s frequent flyers hate this video. I’ve not been on a BA flight since they introduced this video but I’ve watched it online and while it may be funny the first time the novelty wears off very, very quickly. Ironically, the more annoying part of the video (for me, and quite a lot of FT’ers) is Asim Chaudhry, who is the only one returning for this version…

    Honestly, I’ve over this thing of “novelty” safety videos, which I why I like SQ’s version so much (and I’ve sat through that six times this year already). Surely, their purpose is not to entertain? And yes, I know the counter-argument will be some people will be more likely to listen if it’s entertaining.

    And I really hate David Walliams. I’m so fed up his “oooooh look at me, I’m so camp” act. It’s not 1976.

  4. It’s incredibly turgid but still not as awful as KLM’s horrifically dull animated delft pottery video —- blerrgh

  5. Asim Chaudhry aka Chabuddy G aka the The Mayor of Hounslow aka The Fresh Prince of Hounslow High St. Hilarious. Nice one BA, got people talking. Very current. Refreshing change.

  6. I find myself on a BA plane about once a fortnight and I am sick and tired of these. They’re too long and, more importantly, I don’t think they’re an effective way of convening the relevant safety information!

    Separately, I find it funny that you think BA take themselves seriously. I suspect there are cultural issues at play there, because I find that BA (and, more importantly, most of the BA staff I come across) have an outwardly serious persona but are actually self-deprecating and often pretty sarcastic; I’ve never thought of the airline or it’s staff as overly serious (sure, compared to VS, but not when compared to other major legacy carriers). I wonder if BA really just offer a particular Britishness that you don’t really understand/like?! (I appreciate that we’re a peculiar bunch on this side of the pond).

  7. I just saw the current one a couple weeks ago intra-Europe and I can tell you no one was paying attention and it was irritating. The worst part was we pushed back and taxied but because the stupid video is so long we actually had to wait until it finished before we could take off!

    I wish they would leave these as on-line exclusives and use a more direct and less humorous version in-flight.

  8. I thought Michael Caine could have used his famous Italian Job line, I only told you to blow the bloody doors off. On second thought, maybe not appropriate on an aircraft.

  9. I will always think this VX (RIP) safety video was the best:

    No cringe-inducing cameos by people who aren’t funny, no actually-funny people selling out, and no airline employees trying to act. It was cute, but not overly so. It got the message across succinctly and thoroughly. And it was interesting enough to engage infrequent flyers but not obnoxious to those who have seen it 50+ times.

    All this outdoing and out-cutifying each other with tongue-in-cheek nonsense is so irritating. BA should save the money they paid these celebrities and “celebrities” and invest it back in the hard/soft product.

  10. It is a cute video but I just did a four leg British airways trip this past week and it got tiring to watch after the second time. I can only imagine how irritated BA frequent flyers must be!

  11. The best thing about getting on one of BA’s new A320neo planes is that they don’t have televisions and you don’t have to watch this rubbish.

    Why on short haul planes does Gillian Anderson have to tell us about the brace position for rear facing passengers in club world

  12. I hate Londonistan. This is exactly why we see passengers evacuating with their carryon bags.

  13. “wogue?” “it’s vogue” “wogue?” “vogue” “wogue?” “vogue” “wogue?” “ya”

  14. Others have said it and I agree, the video is far, far too long! In the last few weeks, I’ve flown both Air Canada and BA. By definition, AC’s video has to be fully bilingual. It runs for just over 4.5 minutes. BA which, last time I checked, was only in English takes more than 6 minutes! I’m all for finding entertaining ways to get people to take notice of the information, but any gain that BA might get from their ‘humorous’ attempt is surely lost when people loose interest after about 3 minutes.

  15. Today is my 1 year anniversary of reading OMAAT. Thanks for creating such a wonderful blog!

  16. @ Scott — Thanks for reading and for the support! Here’s to hoping you stick around for another year (or 10)!

  17. @ Lumma – More annoyingly, why does Gillian use an English accent? Is it too jarring for British passengers to hear an American accent? If she isn’t English enough after years living and working in the UK, sounding like a Masterpiece Theater host won’t make a difference.

  18. Hated it. Turned off about halfway through. Its not as original or funny as the first one. To be fair i much prefer the Air New Zealand videos. Unfortunately got a few flights woth BA in the coming 12 months so no doubt will have to put up with this a few times.

  19. This will get old quick.

    It’s not as good as the first one, mainly because it doesn’t have Warwick Davies and Harry Potter references and too long. The current one still makes me chuckle at a couple of points despite hearing it twice a month minimum.

  20. The video is funny but it is WAY too long. I imagine flights having to wait to get moving until it finishes.

  21. I couldn’t make myself watch the above video. I’m gonna be forced to watch it over and over and over and over and over again on countless flights soon enough.

    The hell. The misery. The desperation of looking around for something sharp to gauge out my eyes. The sad realization that I’d still need to cut off my ears. On every flight. Every flight! The sweet relief when the video system breaks and the flight attendants have to do a manual safety demonstration.

    Please please make British Airways stop wasting money on these.

  22. Look, the thing is that ANY safety video is hard to look at a second time. I’m sorry that frequent BA fliers don’t care for this but it’s not as though they’re really looking anyway.

    People Who Watch Safety Videos:

    – Children – Flying is exciting and they want to take it all in.
    – NeverEvers – “Oh my! We’re on a plane. Let’s do all the things.”
    – New To the Airline/Aircraft – “Maybe this one will be different/unique…”

    Literally NOBODY else watches them unless there’s something new to see and this checks this box, for better or worse.

  23. Yes, humour is subjective. Not sure I am looking forward to seeing this video over and over again, despite a few humorous bits. All in the name of charity. Sigh!

  24. The first video was ok as a one-off, but having seen it what feels like hundreds of times it is now just tiresome (with the notable exception of Gillian Anderson – whose wonderful frustration and rage with the idiot director is something I strongly identify with).

    This “director’s cut” feels slow and plodding. I do hope the “live” version on planes is a lot smarter than this. Frankly I’m bored with it already; God knows what it will feel like after multiple viewings.

    I do wish airlines would stop seeing critical safety information as another bloody branding opportunity. Short and snappy, please.

  25. Goofy first time…second time OK..third…Oy…isn’t it time to bag the safety stuff period, no one listens..and also do folks really put their phones in airplane mode? Not seen a plane downed from a phone being left in transmit mode either…

  26. Wow that’s terrible. While I loved the #vxsafetydance on Virgin America and most of Air New Zealand’s videos, these BA audition clips are just so damn boring and distracting. At least the VX song was intense and on the point, whereas this BA video runs off on tangents and lame jokes that take away from the key safety points. If I had to sit through this multiple times a month, let alone week, I’d consider switching airlines.

  27. I liked it. of course I never fly BA & will not have to watch it over and over and over….

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