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Some carriers have lately stepped up that assault on aviation apathy by showing preflight videos that are a mix of the serious and the surreal. Take, for instance, a new effort by Delta Air Lines, which invites fliers to find various bizarre details in their safety videos — a “What’s wrong with this picture?” approach…They aren’t the first. In 2007, Virgin America also rolled out a cheeky animated version of the safety announcement, complete with flying fish, matadors and a multitasking nun. Foreign carriers have also played it for laughs. Air New Zealand recently employed the flamboyant fitness instructor Richard Simmons to make its announcement stand out.
The safety announcement requirement dates to the 1960s, when the Federal Aviation Administration started outlining the various bits of information that the airlines need to convey — exits, oxygen, etc. But it leaves the presentation of it up to the airlines.