Saturday, October 9, 2010

In-flight Safety Demo

When I’m in a plane and getting ready for takeoff – I will normally have the day’s newspaper with me and I will be devouring the news of the day. Meanwhile the cabin crew will be busy moving about buckling seatbelts, entertaining persistent requests from passengers and just do the stuff they are expected to do. And when they begin their in-flight safety demos – most of us will not even pay attention. I don’t too. I mean, if and when a plane crashes, then the demo would be useful, right?

Anyway, Cebu Pacific found a way to get bored and uninterested eyes to focus on their cabin crew during the in-flight safety demo – and this animated approach has become a YouTube sensation! The Philippine airline said on Thursday they were “surprised” after a video of the routine has gone viral with over seven million hits in a week (Star, October 07, 2010, p W30). When I checked this YouTube video two days later, it has already had more than 8 million hits.

Cebu Pacific Airlines, a budget airline long known for entertaining passengers with amusements such as mid-air trivia games, said they had wanted to make the safety demonstrations “fun and exciting” to get passengers to pay attention. Dancing to a mash-up of Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” and Katy Perry’s “California Girls,” the orange-clad cabin crew strutted happily as they showed off lifejackets and bounced up and down, arms moving in rhythm, to indicate the emergency exits.

As they bopped, a voice-over told passengers what to do in case of an emergency landing. And when the cabin crew are done, passengers applauded. Now, if this has happened on my flight – I would certainly take notice too! 100%!

But not everyone is smiling.

The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines said that requiring flight attendants to dance in front of passengers was “demeaning and undignified... (they) are not entertainers.”

Women’s rights group Gabriela said in a statement that “portraying women in a sexy manner to make business brisk is not only a cheap promotional gimmick but also makes corporations such as Cebu Pacific a purveyor of sexism and machismo that reverses the hard-won recognition that Filipino women have achieved.”

The company spokesperson declined to comment on the criticisms.

According to a Bernama news report, Prime Minister Najib Razak had warned on Friday that Malaysia must transform or risk becoming a failed state! When I think of a failed state, Somalia comes to mind! How can Najib even begin to compare us with Somalia? This is just baloney! Sometimes I wonder who writes his speeches?!

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