Sure, Hollywood stars often do product endorsements, but how frequently do you see them pop up on a flight to tell you how to fasten your seatbelt or where the air masks are located? Not, uh, ever? But now, if you fly the Australian airline, Qantas, you're sure to get an eyeful of John Travolta. Yup, he must really be hard up for some dough, because he's the new star of ... the in-flight safety video on Qantas flights.
And not everyone's starstruck by the now 57-year-old Tony Manero. In fact, Qantas employees are kind of outraged and call the safety demo video featuring the aging Danny Zucko (sorry, I can't help myself) "cringe-worthy," "corny," and "tacky."
Personally, I don't really see what the big deal is.
It's not like Travolta is a random Hollywood actor with absolutely no good reason to be in a flight safety video. He's actually a Goodwill Ambassador for Qantas, he's flown in Qantas livery, and he is a trained pilot with over 40 years experience. That's not an act.
Still, flight attendants take issue with how, in the video, Travolta refers to them as "the team" and not "the crew." One flight attendant reportedly told the Telegraph:
We feel it's demeaning to be called "the team." It makes us feel like we work at McDonald's.
Err, okay, actually, I see it as a casual way of referring to them as a crew. They do have to work together as a team after all, no? But if it really is offensive, then maybe they should take that up with whoever penned the script.
It seems like what they're actually upset about is having a movie star speaking for "real" captains and flight attendants. It seems patronizing, and it makes them feel undervalued. They've asked to have Travolta replaced with Capt. Richard de Crespigny, who saved 466 passengers and crew when he successfully landed his Qantas jumbo jet after losing an engine last year.
But I really have to side with the Qantas higher-ups, who say the video is "engaging." Sadly, no one recognizes Richard de Crespigny. The point of the safety video is to get passengers to stop texting, stop playing "Angry Birds," stop flicking through their Kindles, and sit up and pay attention. When they see a recognizable face -- "What, is that John Travolta?!" -- that's exactly what they're going to do. And then, with hope, they'll pay attention to the rest of the video.
If Qantas flight attendants can think of another recognizable face who would be equally as engaging as Travolta, then maybe they can run that by Qantas top dogs. Until then, they've kinda just gotta make do with Vinnie Barbarino.
For your not-in-flight viewing pleasure, here's the video in question ...
Do you think it's cringe-worthy?
Image via YouTube