Air New Zealand's latest safety video won praise in a review by film guru Russell Baillie in Travel a few weeks back — but it seems the Civil Aviation Authority is not a fan.
The CAA told off the national carrier for its celebrity cameo-heavy, pre-flight briefings. Richard Simmons, Bear Grylls, Betty White and half the population of Middle-earth have graced the seatback screens. Even noted greatness-chaser Richie McCaw has been up there in the clips which are, for the first few views at least, pretty eye-catching material.
But the CAA bagged the airline for including "extraneous material" in one of the videos.
"As we have commented previously, the video diverges materially from the 'safety message' at times," the CAA said in an email to Air New Zealand. "And whilst we appreciate the need to engage the viewers, the extraneous material detracts from the scope and direction of the safety message."
I like the videos. Having seen the way that seasoned flyers on most airlines — Air New Zealand included — zone out during the safety briefings, anything that snatches your attention for even a few minutes is to be commended. The public buzz generated by the release of a new Air New Zealand video — whether it's praise or eyeball rolling — shows that, if nothing else, the videos get noticed. Our national carrier has developed a happy knack for getting attention.
But please, no more of Israel "Snoop" Dagg's rapping.