I confess that I am one of those people that watch the in-flight safety briefing from start to finish, every time. Also, I ensure that I make eye contact where possible with the cabin crew to acknowledge that I’m paying attention like the teacher’s pet. Most heads are down reading, sleeping or sending the last banal texts and tweets. There could be 4 reasons for this:
1) They do not want to be perceived as an inexperienced or unsophisticated flyer.
2) Their perception of risk is one of fate or ‘she’ll be right’.
3) They are simply bored with the presentation.
4) They have seen the presentation so many times they think they know it all.
The airline has little control over social and risk perception; however, they do have control over the effectiveness of their presentations. That’s why there has been a considerable jump in creativity, entertainment and production values in safety briefings. Celebrities, humour, disco routines and even nudity have all been used to increase attention, effectiveness and awareness of key safety messaging.
The risks and safety procedures have changed little over the years however the airlines know that that familiarity breeds complacency. The same can be said about your company online inductions and compliance training. It doesn’t take long for it to lose its effectiveness and become outdated and stale. We advise a refresh happens every few years. And by refresh we don’t just mean adopting the new corporate colours or fonts but telling the story in a different, entertaining and succinct way. This is can be challenging but the effort you put in reflects your safety culture and corporate values.
So, am I safety nerd? Probably. But the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) suggests that informed and knowledgeable passengers have a better chance of surviving any life-threatening situation.
My main motivation to watch the inflight induction is to acknowledge the leadership of the cabin crew. That is, show them respect and trust as a leader whilst I am in their workplace. I am part of their team, ready to follow any of their instructions in an emergency. I am not an expert in plane emergency evacuation (thankfully never had to have experienced it), but the cabin crew are. And maybe they instinctively save the teacher’s pet first!