New American Airlines Safety Video Leaked “Safety At Scale”

The new American Airlines safety video certainly would have been released by now if not for the current global pandemic. It features the airline’s new uniform. Seeing this gives me a sense of normalcy.

“Safety At Scale” was produced by Dallas-based Charlie Uniform Tango and I believe the voiceover is Janie Smith:

While American Airlines has largely been using the slogan (internally) “caring for people on life’s journey” and that makes an appearance here – “it’s our honor to care for you on your journey” – this video ends with ‘we fly so you can soar’.

american airlines safety video we fly so you can soar

18 months ago Air New Zealand’s safety video “It’s Kiwi Safety” had a cast of 600. It’s not clear how many people appear in ‘Safety at Scale’ but the meaning here seems both suggestive of the number of cast in a couple of key scenes, using people to do things like form the American Airlines logo and a no smoking sign, and to suggest just how large what was in normal times the world’s largest airline.

Besides the number of people in the video there’s nothing especially remarkable about the new American Airlines safety video. While there are people in mocked up aircraft seats in a warehouse, it’s a little bit less of an homage to the Air France safety video than their most recent one was.

This new video isn’t as chic as the last one. Still, it’s visually interesting. It doesn’t make a play at humor, though at the 2 minute mark a cabin crew member breaks formation slightly to wave at the camera. Other than a desire to use the airline’s new uniforms in this video – which matters for consistent branding for the airline – I’m not sure there’s an improvement even compared to this video produced a decade ago. It’s a very normal airline safety video, though, and normal is what I think we’d all like to return to.

Update: The video was very quickly removed from Vimeo. What is American Airlines hiding? I grabbed a copy and decided to upload a clip that’s just 18 seconds long, which I think represents a fair use to illustrate a newsworthy item.

Update 2: American Airlines shares,

>We’re proud to be moving toward a new safety video that features dozens of American Airlines flight attendants and team members from a variety of workgroups in our new uniforms. This version is not yet final. We’re excited to share this video once it’s final later this year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What’s the point of creating new safety videos when they’re ripping out those IFE lol…just wasting more money

  2. From a branding perspective the only thing that screams out as not looking right, is the font used in the new slogan “We fly so you can soar”. I don’t understand the logic of using a serif font – it looks very wrong to me.

  3. In the video at 2:28, in the unlikely event of a water evacuation, the eight evacuation slides before being used as life rafts were deployed with no passengers or crew on them. Hopefully, the entire crew, and passengers if any, made a successful aircraft evacuation.

  4. Agree with Tama. It doesn”t make sense.while the maintenance department continues to remove the screens.

  5. The only thing soaring is their passengers fevers and their new higher change fees

  6. @Dwondermeant. I wonder if American Airlines will use their new higher change fees to help pay for sanitizing their life rafts.

  7. I have had a passion for AA since my first flight to Disneyland…long ago. I think one reason many of us criticize AA is because of their move away from what once was a real awesome legacy!

    The jingle “doing what we do best” was the best and they followed through. Since then, no campaign has been remotely as effective or heartfelt. A few videos in this first link below tell the story well. It lacks my favorite which was a longer commercial showing numerous innovations where AA raised the bar for the entire industry. You will see many smiles…but distinguishly different. Very real.

    The second is just as powerful. If AA could get serious as their former legacy CEO did…that would be just wow.

  8. Did anyone else find the video creepy? Dozens of frozen, smiling employees staring at you.

    I wonder why AA isn’t showing any actual aircraft interiors in their safety videos anymore. I get not wanting to acknowledge Oasis, but the widebodies are pretty nice.

  9. These “safety” videos don’t address the primary risk of air travel – Covid-19. The odds of needing to evacuate the plane are minuscule. There should be a video on how to stay safe on board while travelling in the age of coronavirus.

  10. It’s proprietary and hasn’t been released by the owner. I can’t believe you or anyone else who owns property wouldn’t understand why the video has been removed. Seriously? When American gets ready to release their official version, they will.

  11. @Ken A, I’m not an FA and could be wrong but my understanding is that you detach the slide rafts in a water evacuation but they are connected with a rope. Everyone inflates their best and jumps into the water, then climbs on to the rafts. Having everyone crawl into the edge of the raft would take too long. Overwing exits typically have rafts in the ceiling that should be deployed in the same way- the automatic slide likely won’t inflate due to water level, and they can’t be detached anyway.

  12. @John, almost correct. In a perfect setting, slide/rafts are inflated and passengers board directly (walk or crawl) into the slide/raft – no jumping into water. Recall 1549 (Hudson ditching) at the forward doors. However, you are partially correct. Slide/rafts (and life rafts) are equipped with boarding ladders and life lines around the exterior to facilitate passengers boarding from the water. With regard to the wings, the slides (Airbus and some Boeing jets) are not designed to be used as rafts. On the 737, life rafts (not slide/rafts) found in ceiling compartments are transported outside and inflated just aft (or forward) of the wings. Passengers egress directly onto the wing, then board into the awaiting life raft. Hope this helps to shed some clarity. Since I have yet to see the new video, I’m unable to fully address Ken A’s comment.

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