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
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- Adam Sandler's 'Thanksgiving Song': Explaining the 22-year-old tune's pop-culture references
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- 13 vegetarian dishes for Thanksgiving
Subscribe to the Week