Many of you may have already seen this clip of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant rapping his opening PA. Clearly entertaining and creative, David Holmes has generated some cyber-buzz. Kudos to David! He’s entertaining people and sharing important safety information all in one. He’s not the first SWA flight attendant to sing or even to rap. So I’m not sure why a local Dallas news station found this to be news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he enjoys his job and that he works for a company that embraces this sort of thing. If I had been on that flight, I probably would have been stomping and clapping right along with everybody else.
My issue is this: Why do people need to be entertained in order for them to listen to important safety information? In the news article someone is quoted as saying, “That’s the first time I’ve ever listened to the emergency instructions.” What???? I’m not sure that I’d admit to that if I were you. This is essential information about the airplane and crew to which you are trusting your life. As a flight attendant, I’ve never understood why people, in general, don’t pay attention. I guess I should clarify, they do pay attention, but only after they hear about an airplane crash. It’s sad, but just plain true.
After 9/11 people paid very close attention for a few weeks. After US Airways flight 1549 went down in the Hudson, they paid attention to the life vest portion of the announcement. However, if there is anything that we should learn from that accident, it’s that people do survive crashes. I hear people say all the time that if the plane goes down “we’re all dying anyway,” followed by some other bit of “wisdom.” That attitude is biggest mistake anyone could make. I’m providing a link here to a site providing airline crash statistics. The key fact is that people survive. So why wouldn’t you want to pay attention?
Again, kudos to David for finding a way to make crucial safety information a must-hear event. And shame on those of you who had to rely on being entertained in order to pay attention.