United Airlines’ New Safety Video Just Dropped — and it Features 1,000 Dominoes

United Safety Video New 2024

Skift Take

The roll-out comes at a sensitive time for the carrier as the FAA continues a major safety review into the company’s operations. 

United Airlines has premiered its new pre-flight safety video. The company says it has been designed “to capture and keep the attention of even the most frequent travelers.”

The video features more than 1,000 real dominoes, and a dozen different “contraptions.” It is called “Safety in Motion” and follows a blue ball as it encounters various onboard elements and United employees who demonstrate safety procedures.

“The safest safety video is one that passengers actively watch,” said Maggie Schmerin, United’s Chief Advertising Officer. “We worked across the airline to ensure our new safety video clearly and succinctly communicates critical information in a way passengers can’t help but watch – no matter their age, background or experience traveling.”

A Year in the Making

Development of the project started in June 2023, with filming taking place last October. The Federal Aviation Administration approved the video in March. The new video will start appearing on United flights from May 25, and be rolled out more widely during the next few months. 

The roll-out comes at a sensitive time for United.

In March, the Federal Aviation Administration placed a series of restrictions on the carrier. The federal agency increased its oversight after a series of widely reported safety- and maintenance-related incidents. United CEO Scott Kirby sent a letter to passengers at the time, reiterating that safety is the company’s highest priority.

Safety Videos in the Spotlight

There has been renewed scrutiny of the role of pre-flight safety briefings after the Japan Airlines accident in January. The Tokyo-based carrier has been praised for its straight-talking, no-nonsense video, which has been credited with aiding a smooth evacuation.

In recent years there has been an industry trend towards more abstract safety videos. Proponents argue that these are more captivating and likely to get the message through to passengers. However, the risk comes when the core safety instructions get lost among dazzling visuals and gimmicky storylines. 

Earlier this year, Australian flag carrier Qantas was criticized for a “tedious” 10-minute pre-flight video. The briefing features a helicopter soaring over New Zealand, a vintage sports car in California, and a ferry in Sydney, but there aren’t any in-cabin visuals of the plane itself. A condensed edit is shown to passengers on board. 

Elsewhere, Korean Air debuted its new video starring virtual humans, and last year, British Airways rolled out its latest film, featuring celebrities including Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Raducanu.

Airlines Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of airline sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including network carriers, low-cost carriers, and other related companies.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more airlines sector financial performance. 

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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