Gulf Air
Screen shot from Gulf Air safety video.

Safety Video: Children Delighted to See Oxygen Masks Drop?

n recent years, airlines started getting creative with the production of safety videos by inserting bits of entertainment in them in the hopes of retaining attention longer from more passengers aboard the aircraft. Insert levity here; promote brevity there, and voilà: here is a more interesting safety video — in this case, the first of many from Delta Air Lines…

…but some safety videos remain mundane and boring — such as those from China Eastern Airlines, for example. I cannot find a good video of the safety demonstration via the Internet — it was probably too boring to be posted anywhere, anyway — so please trust me on this one.

Originally officially released in October of 2012, this safety video from Gulf Air is quite boring in and of itself; but two aspects caught my eye which I found entertaining — or, at least, entertaining in relation to the ennui of the flight experience when I flew as a passenger for the first time on a flight operated by this airline.

One minute and 26 seconds into the safety video, the children of the family wave to each other from across the aisle — when suddenly the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling.

Take a look at the faces of the children. Could they be any more delighted to see the oxygen masks drop?

Screen shot from Gulf Air safety video.
Screen shot from Gulf Air safety video.

“Oh, boy! The airplane is losing its pressurized air! Yay!!!”

I suppose this is a way to ease the minds of passengers who have a fear of flying while requiring them to watch the safety video — similar to the replacement in the United States of the term turbulence with the more euphemistic rough air.

Then — one minute and 35 seconds into the safety video — the woman puts the strap of the oxygen mask around her head. The little girl still has a smile on her face during this unlikely emergency.

Screen shot from Gulf Air safety video.
Screen shot from Gulf Air safety video.

Either her hair is made of plastic — or she used an excessive amount of hair spray that morning. That hair ain’t giving in to that rubber strap for nothin’.

Not that it really matters, but I also wondered why the man was wearing a more traditional thawb while the woman — presumably his wife — is wearing what appears to be more of a Western style of clothing. Perhaps this is to attempt to appeal to as many passengers as possible?

By the way, the buildings shown starting at 21 seconds in the safety video actually exist, as they are some of the buildings in Manama — which is the capital city of Bahrain, the small country where Gulf Air is based. I intend to show actual photographs of them in a future article when I give a trip report of my short visit to Bahrain on my way from Abu Dhabi to Cairo.

I found this safety video pathetically entertaining — that is, pathetic on my part that I found those parts of an otherwise boring safety video entertaining…

…and if you truly enjoy watching that safety video, then you are in luck, as it is shown twice: once in Arabic; and then again in English.

The fact that I have visited the Technical Operations Center, the Operations Control Center, the training center where I learned valuable emergency techniques, the control towers at the international airport which serves the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the offices of Delta Air Lines — and also flew as a “pilot” in its flight simulators with their excellent instructors; worked as a gate agent for the morning several times; as well as met many of their employees — certainly does not hurt at all, as I now have much greater insight as to how the airline operates.

In fact, one of the main purposes of the Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Events in 2009 and 2010 was to establish and strengthen trust between the airline and some of its more frequent customers; and it apparently worked — at least, for a while for some FlyerTalk members.

Those experiences versed me so much more in depth on safety protocols and procedures than any safety video ever could; which is why — in my opinion — what people who have a fear of flying but want to travel by airplane should consider doing is attend a course run by an airline simulating emergency situations, which attendees usually find to be fun. The experience could possibly help at least alleviate — if not perhaps eliminate altogether — the fear of traveling by airplane.

In the meantime, I suppose the safety videos will have to suffice…

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