I get around and about regularly and to all manner of remote locations. Frequently this involves flights on airlines I’ve never heard of. Let me thus emphasise this.

The anachronistic practise of yesteryear of airlines ear‑bashing their imprisoned customers is now virtually gone, with three notable exceptions; Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.

Now Virgin’s boss has announced they’re going to end it and shut up, or, in other words, grow up.

Safety drills, welcomes, weather babble, introductions to the bloody crew and tea girls and all the rest of the palaver, are now out, and about time.

Qantas is still bad by world standards but I use them for trans‑Tasman as they’re deaf mutes compared with Air New Zealand, particularly its mind‑blowingly infantile safety video.

The Economist used to rant on about this practise but no longer as it’s no longer necessary.

Safety drills are specially ludicrous. For example no‑one in aviation history, in the many incidents of crashing into the sea, has ever made it into a life‑boat. In the New York river incident a decade or so back the passengers were rescued by boats from the shore. Air New Zealand’s childish incessant intercom babble belongs to the 1970s. Flying is no longer special. Pilots should be neither seen nor heard.

The preposterous practise of Air New Zealand’s waitresses harassing passengers 20 minutes before landing to bring their seat forward 2 inches is unique to Air New Zealand. Most airlines flash up a sign a minute or two before landing and leave it at that. Thank God, now with my own jet, I no longer have to endure this abominable crap in New Zealand.



Years ago I had a window seat on the right hand side (starboard) of the plane, flying from Hong Kong to Auckland. I left my window shade up. The hostess asked me to pull it down.
“Because the sun will shine in and it will disturb the other passengers.”
“Sweetie pie; we will be flying at about 170 degrees, that is, south south east. If the sun shines in my window, at sunrise, the position of the window shade will be the least of our worries.”
Don’t call me Sweetie Pie!” she replied, I doubt whether she had ever noticed that the sun rises in the east!

Air NZ staff have been trained to talk incessantly. The pilots have to provide a detailed weather forecast for the destination before handing us over to the ‘wonderful’ cabin crew, who then prattle incessantly. And just in case the silence is unbearable we have to endure the most appalling ‘muzak’ before take off. I wear ear plugs from the moment I get on. If spotted which is rare I remove them and put them back in when the officious bumpkin’s back is turned.

Last time I flew Emirates (a few months ago), they also did the “seats forward” thing before landing, so claiming it to be something only Air NZ does is simply not true. As far as the rest is concerned, yes, the safety videos are infantile but that is a separate issue from the content. Many lives have been saved (for example) by the floor lights which lead to exits, so this would seem on the face of it to be useful information. It also doesn’t take much imagination to visualize a forehead slamming into a food tray during a rough landing. I’m also not sure I understand what you mean by “safety drills”, I’ve never been though a drill on a plane, are you sure you’re not getting it mixed up with the Blitz?

Bob Jones has always been full of himself, always seeking attention, has a very big ego.🤣🤣🤣

I do more than my share of flying – obviously not as much as you. I haven’t come across the phenomenon you describe. My complaint is that wherever you fly, the safety spiel is the same – including the instruction to listen carefully because every aircraft is different. If I remember rightly, Thai and Emirates used to do it only in English, but now you have to endure it twice. Some information like the location of the emergency exists could be helpful in case of emergency, but the pantomime they all employ is ludicrous. Instead of advising people to count the rows they could tell you the numbers of the exit rows. Those of mathematical bent could then work it out for themselves. But that information would be unique to that type of aircraft.

I don’t mind a few words from the captain. Better than VietJet who left us two hours sitting on the runway with nary a peep from the crew. At least last time a delay happened on Air NZ I was able to cajole the crew for another welcome drink.

By the way i remember reading and enjoying a book of yours called, I think “travelling” Its not in your list. What happened to it?

Perhaps he will do away with the remarkably annoying safety video. Its not really even safety, as 99% of all flight processes are governed well away from passengers. To a certain extent airlines are obliged to present these things by civil aviation law, but, by heavens they make it into a tiresome endurance event.

The sun does not rise in the east. It has never happened and never will….. It is the earth that is moving.

Sorry to be a party pooper but all these annoyances are there to ensure ‘in the unlikely event of an emergency’ everyone has been told what to do, hopefully know what to do and therefore no one can come back at the airline and sue (presumably).
I vaguely recall a recent Russian air accident where passengers decided to grab there belongings before leaving the aircraft which caused delays and deaths. Maybe one of the airlines Bob Jones talks about who doesn’t give any safety briefings???
FYI .. Window shades are closed during periods when the cabin/passengers are in ‘night mode’ so people get to have a better chance of sleeping. If someone opens it and the sun is out, it will potentially annoy other passengers who are trying to sleep. Sleep is hard enough to get at the best of times on long haul flights, the last thing you need is some tw#t deciding he/she/it (!!!) doesn’t want to sleep, therefore others don’t need to either.
Opening shades on landing is purely so if the aircraft crashed on landing, and you’ve survived, you can look out the window to see if there is a fire or hazard in that area, and if so it would be best to avoid the exits in the vicinity.
Seats in the upright position for landing and tray tables away… again, if there’s an emergency on landing and you have to adopt the ‘Brace Position’ then you haven’t got the seat in front of you/tray blocking that, and believe me, there is a less of a chance you will survive if you can’t adopt the brace position. Also, with that seat in front of you down, it will be almost impossible to quickly jump out of your seat and get to the nearest exit. Next time you’re on a flight and the person in front has their seat down, try imagining how you would get on in an emergency landing.
If only Air NZ would go back to the traditional, basic procedure. I guess they went for all the gimmicky ones in the hope more people would watch. To be honest, most of them are cringe worthy. But they are important. You can say that ‘everyone already knows or has seen/heard it’, but there is always going to be someone new to flying who hasn’t.
So all up, suck it up and accept it’s a boring necessity if you want to fly… or buy/charter your own private airliner.

AIR NZ briefings are supposed to be about safety, but they have become more about entertainment. I can imagine that some less seasoned travellers with limited English would be absolutely confused after viewing them.

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