The New Super Chic Air France Safety Video, and 5 Reasons Why These Videos are Great Investments

Air France has a new ‘super chic’ safety video. I’ve not been keen to fly them in recent times (mostly because of how long it’s taken for them to start rolling out a lie flat business class), but I kind of like this video.

My first five thoughts watching it:

  1. I wish Air France crews were this smiley. I usually can’t get more than a tiny glass of water from them, and it always feels like I’m hassling them when I ask for more.
  2. They’re not even, like, showing safety features inside a plane. There’s sort of a plane-ish background. I think it works, but it’s strange.
  3. Most Air France crew – and passengers – do not look like that.
  4. Passengers have books and binders with “France is in the Air” written on the front. That’s been the Air France motto for the past year and it’s their way of telling you what that smell is it’s a pun.
  5. Instead of sitting in airplane seats, they’re sitting in my exact dining room chairs.

I’ve struggled to understand why airlines — even when they’re financially struggling as Air France has been — invest in high quality safety videos. It seems at first blush like that would be the most pedestrian of components of the overall flight product.

I’ve come up with six possibilities:

  1. They can script the crew in the video which gives the impression of crew quality — when for US and European carriers that is the most variable part of the flight product.
  2. A high-quality safety video signals attention to detail — which suggests that the bigger things are also done well.
  3. They have to have a safety video anyway so might as well make it good.
  4. It’s easier to do a good video on the ground than good meal in the air. And It is relatively cheap as an investment spread across every flight.
  5. It gets people to watch the video and airlines do actually care about safety.
  6. Earned media. Air New Zealand taught us these are buzz worthy.

Bonus: Which of these explanations also accounts for Air France releasing a ‘making of’ video?

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. I don’t have a per se problem with these “cute” safety videos, but wouldn’t logic suggest that they would be useful if they actually showed the safety features aboard the plane? I think the UA one actually shows the passengers seated on a beach. That doesn’t make much sense to me.

  2. To piggy back on your last point: it also gets their name out. People will recognize the airline with the viral safety video.

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