In a bold move, Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, recently introduced a new safety video, marking a significant shift from its previous versions. This fresh approach, however, has not received universal acclaim, stirring a mix of responses from the public.
The airline chose the beginning of the new year for this innovative step, reflecting a common trend among companies to embrace change with the arrival of a new calendar year. The video, first of its kind since Qantas' centenary celebration in 2020, spans an extensive 10 minutes. It features Qantas staff and frequent flyers, showcasing 14 global destinations through footage compiled over 40 days. Catriona Larritt, Qantas' Chief Customer Officer, emphasized the dual purpose of the video: enhancing safety awareness and promoting travel.
Online Backlash Over Length and Content
The video's debut online, however, sparked criticism, primarily due to its length. A 10-minute runtime is perceived by many as excessive for retaining passengers' attention, raising concerns about the effectiveness of conveying crucial safety information. Sky News also pointed out the absence of Qantas aircraft in the video, which instead depicts characters using other modes of transport.
Responding to the backlash, Qantas clarified on social media that the extended version was intended solely for online viewing, with a significantly shorter version planned for in-flight use.
Moving Forward: Safety or Scenery?
The incident raises questions about the balance between engagement and the core purpose of safety instructions. While the extended version's striking visuals aim to captivate viewers, the essence of safety instructions could be overshadowed.
In light of recent aviation incidents globally, the topic of flight safety has gained heightened sensitivity. Qantas' primary challenge moving forward will be to ensure that its safety video efficiently imparts crucial safety procedures, transcending beyond just being a showcase of beautiful destinations.