Traditionally, in-flight safety videos have had about as much personality as an airport bathroom stall. However, in recent years these recordings have taken a comedic turn. Enter Marty Cobb in 2014, the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who took safety to a new altitude. The dynamic Ms. Cobb effortlessly makes light of standard safety spiels: “Position your seatbelt tight and low across your hips, like my grandmother wears her support bra.” Then she aptly calls out travelers, “As you know it’s a no smoking, no complaining, no whining flight. It’s a ‘please and thank you, and you are such a good-looking flight attendant’ flight!”
Inspired by the hilarity of Marty Cobb, we’ve compiled some of our favorite in-flight safety videos. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be glad you’re not on a plane right now.
1. Air New Zealand: Most Humorous
Let’s start this off with a bang, shall we? Air New Zealand nailed it with their 2013 safety video by combining two things that everyone loves: Betty White and sexy accents. This playful spin on the traditional video is so engaging that I almost want to see it made into a sitcom. Could someone contact Betty’s manager about that A.S.A.P.? You go, golden girl.
2. Delta: Most Retro
Do you long for the days of sassy side-ponytails and manly mullets? Let your nostalgia take hold and watch Delta’s latest ‘80s inspired video. While funky beats and big hair dominate the screen, you might notice some notable cameos. And yes, that is Kareem Abdul Jabar, Alf, and Devo. Gotta say though, the little ginger girl dressed as an adult at 2:23 is beyond me. Am I missing a reference here? (Turns out I was, she is a young version of Deltalina, the airline’s lovable finger-wagging flight attendant. She originally appeared in Delta’s 2008 in-flight safety video. Everything makes so much more sense now!)
3. Icelandair: Most Beautiful
When I think of Iceland, I think of Björk and beautiful scenery. Although Björk and her quirkiness are nowhere to be found in this video, Icelandair does feature some gorgeous landscapes. We see a young woman on the hunt for adventure, and taking safety into consideration in the meantime. You know what, Sigur Rós is from there too. Icelandair really didn’t cash in on their local musical talent for this one, but shout out to the mountains and rivers for looking spectacular.
Honorable Mention: Air New Zealand’s 2014 safety video, which takes you to the core of Middle Earth and air travel precautions. Shout out to the O.G. hobbit, Elijah Wood, and the most fantastical director in the land, Peter Jackson, for their magical appearances.
Thank goodness for the magic of the internet, because now you can experience these videos without ever stepping foot onto a plane. However, the next time you board a flight, pay attention to the safety video. You’ll learn something, and as we all learned from “Snakes on a Plane,” it’s better to be safe than snake food.