Nobody's zoning out during this safety spiel.
Most of us who fly on commercial airlines with any regularity at all have heard the preflight safety presentation so many times we tune it out. Emergency exits forward and back, seat cushions act as flotation devices, put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others, and so on. Once you've heard it a couple of times, you feel like you've got it down.
However, we've seen evidence that most people actually don't have it down. In 2018, a Southwest flight had an emergency midflight and passengers were asked to put on their oxygen masks. Photos from the flight showed that the majority of passengers put them on incorrectly, indicating that people actually do need to be paying attention to the flight crew's standard safety spiel.
Let's face it, though. Even most flight attendants appear to be robotically going through the motions in those presentations, and who can blame them? They have to do the same thing over and over hundreds if not thousands of times.
But occasionally a flight attendant comes along and breathes new life into the routine with some unexpected humor and flair.
Case in point: A WestJet flight attendant whose physical comedy was nearly impossible to ignore. Watch how he makes a standard safety demonstration into a hilarious comedy routine:
\u201cThis guy is truly living his best life\u201d— Giles Paley-Phillips (@Giles Paley-Phillips) 1665301402
According to Narcity, the flight attendant's name is Michael McAdam and videos of his hilarious safety presentations have been circulating since at least 2011.
Here's a longer version of the above video. This is a guy who truly makes the most of his job.
While McAdam's dramatic antics are entertaining, they could actually make passengers on his flights safer if an emergency actually happened. Instead of zoning out while he demonstrated the aircraft's safety features, people were giving him their rapt attention. Who's going to forget his goofy face when he pulls on the straps of the oxygen mask? Humor is a clever way to get people to actually tune in, which may make it easier for people to remember what to do in case of an actual emergency.
Getting passengers to laugh is also a wise way to influence the overall emotional tenor of the flight. Travel can be stressful, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to passengers' stress levels. Setting a light, jovial tone at the beginning of a flight and getting everyone's feel-good chemicals flowing with some collective laughter might preemptively fend off conflict between cranky flyers or conflicts with crew members.
Finally, some people are very nervous to fly. Hurtling through the sky at 500 mph with nothing between you and the Earth 30,000 feet below you but few layers of sheet metal and a fairly uncomfortable chair can do that to a person. Having a flight attendant put on a mini comedy show might put them at ease, lessening the likelihood of panic setting in as the crew explains what to do in an emergency.
While we can't expect all flight attendants to be this entertaining, it is a treat when you get a funny one. Thanks, Mr. McAdam for giving us all a good giggle.