Admit it: You plop down in your airline seat, buckle up, and, just as the flight attendants begin their safety spiels, go straight into zone-out land. Exit rows, oxygen masks, flotation devices…snooze. You’ve heard this all before.
But what if those emergency directions were doled out by Sports Illustrated swimsuit models? Fasten your seat belts, travelers: Safety just got real.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the magazine’s famous Swimsuit Edition, Air New Zealand has teamed up with the brand to bring a little beauty to its newest in-flight safety video, "Safety in Paradise." Filmed in the Cook Islands, string bikini-clad models Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis, Jessica Gomes and Ariel Meredith take on demo duty, while the please-let-me-look-like-her-when-I’m-60 supermodel Christie Brinkley makes a surprise appearance (along with one very ripped pool boy) from Los Angeles.
It's not the first attention-grabbing in-flight video from the airline, which has released a series of these entertaining spots over the past several years that have garnered anywhere from a hundred thousand to 11+ million views on YouTube. Previous videos featured Betty White, Bear Grylls, Richard Simmons and "The Hobbit" characters, as well as one memorable lesson titled "Bare Essentials of Safety," with actual flight attendants wearing nothing but body paint.
Other airlines are hopping on the creative safety video bandwagon too, each aiming to get a share of the viral video pie. Delta’s latest spot takes an ’80s twist—and has garnered close to 1.4 million views since it was published in late January — referencing valley girls, hair metal bands, Devo, Teddy Ruxpin and Alf. Virgin America, meanwhile, came out with a song-and-dance number (yes, there’s a rap in there, too) in late 2013 that now has more than 8.7 million views on YouTube.
Of course, we hope we never actually have cause to heed the advice of these supermodels or puppet aliens, but we do confess we feel a little more prepared thanks to their demos. No offense to traditional flight attendants, but when Chrissy Teigen tells you how to buckle your seat belt, you really can’t help but pay attention.