The video: Qantas employees aren't exactly pleased that the airline has enlisted celebrity flying enthusiast John Travolta to appear in a cheesy, pre-flight safety video. (Check it out below.) In the three-minute clip, Travolta, who owns and flies a Boeing 707, dons a pilot's uniform and jokes, "This is your captain speaking — well, maybe not today." Travolta then expresses his confidence in the airline's actual employees. Even though the star appears for just 35 seconds, Qantas employees were irritated enough to air their grievances online, where they called out the video for being "cringe-worthy," and for downplaying the contributions of real pilots. For Qantas, the use of Travolta, who was named the airline's "ambassador" in 2010, is seen as an effort to reassure passengers following several scares, including last November's emergency landing of Qantas Flight 32, which had 466 people onboard when an engine blew out over Indonesia.
The reaction: "The whole thing seems to make the safety message seem trite," said one Qantas employee, as quoted by News.com.au. And if Qantas is looking for a public face for its safety record, asks another, "who better than the genuine aviation professionals who saved QF32?" Wait, this isn't such a big deal, says Frances Romero at TIME. Two real pilots were featured later in the clip, and "getting Travolta to introduce the video actually seems like a smart strategy to get otherwise jaded travelers to pay attention to the safety demonstration." Watch it for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
Subscribe to the Week