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7 Delightfully Retro Airplane Safety Videos

YouTube // gehtdoch75
YouTube // gehtdoch75

These days, airplane safety videos are filled with jokes, hidden cameos, and similar techniques to encourage passengers to pay attention. A few decades ago? Not so much. In the good old days, airplane safety videos were so quiet and soothing that they could put a typical passenger to sleep...and that was okay, provided he or she wasn't currently smoking.

Here are some of the best retro airplane safety videos around. Please secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others; you may need supplemental oxygen to get through all of these.

1. Pan Am Airbus A300, 1998

Here's a video from a defunct airline, for a plane that is no longer produced, though many are still in service. Things to watch for: smooth soundtrack; smoking on the flight (including when the oxygen masks deploy!); and mustaches galore.

See also: If You Can't Smoke On Planes, Why Are There Still Ashtrays?

2. TWA Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, Circa 1980

Watch for: The smoking section, jumping out onto the inflatable slide rafts, and "A slight burning odor may be detected while oxygen is in use. This is normal." Good to know. Note: This video doesn't come with a date; it's possible that it was recorded as early as the 1970s (the L-1011 dates from 1972), but my best guess puts it somewhere around 1980.

3. Hawaiian Airlines DC-10, Circa 1998

Another undated video, but I'm guessing late 1990s based on the portable CD player, laptop, and Motorola cell phone. Another telltale sign: bad 3D animation.

4. Finnair MD-11, Circa 2000

This is what it would look like if David Lynch directed an airplane safety video.

5. Lufthansa Airbus A300, Circa Mid 1980s

The German/English presentation and soundtrack are excellent; the smoking, fashion, and robotic flight attendants? Not so much.

6. Tower Air Boeing 747, Circa Late 1980s

Tower Air went out of business in 2000. But the flight attendant giving us his best "Blue Steel" at 0:57 will always be with us.

7. Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400, 1994

"This is a smoking flight!" Shoulder pads! Giant cell phones! Slow-motion oxygen mask drop! Welcome back to 1994, people!

Endless Airplane Safety Videos

If this is your jam, behold The Ultimate In-Flight Safety Video Collection, which is just what it claims to be.

Live Smarter
This Travel Site Factors in Baggage Fees to Show You the True Cost of Your Flight

If you're looking to find the best deal on airfare, there are more tools out there to help you than ever before. Travel sites allow users to compare ticket prices based on airlines and the dates of their trip, but the numbers they show don't always paint the full picture. Additional fees for baggage can make a flight that seemed like a steal at booking suddenly a lot less convenient. Fortunately for frugal flyers, KAYAK has found a way to work this factor into their equations, Travel + Leisure reports.

To use the fare search engine's new baggage fee feature, start by entering the information for your flight like you normally would. Flying from New York to Chicago and back the first week of May? KAYAK recommends taking Spirit Airlines if you're looking to pay as little as possible.

But let's say you plan on checking two bags on your flight—different airlines charge different baggage fees, so Spirit may no longer be the cheapest option. If that's the case, KAYAK includes a Fee Assistant bar right above the search results. After entering the number of carry-on and checked bags you'll be traveling with, the results will automatically update to show the true cost of your fare. Ticket prices for New York to Chicago rise across the board with the addition of two checked bags, and Delta now becomes the best deal if you're looking to book through one airline.

The new baggage fee assistant is one way for travelers to make savvier purchases when booking online. But even with the added fees included, you'll need to do some extra research to determine the true value you get from each ticket price that pops up. Wi-Fi, legroom, and in-flight meal quality are all factors that could make a slightly more expensive airline worth it once you board.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Forensic Analysis Suggests Bones Discovered on a Pacific Island May Belong to Amelia Earhart
Getty Images
Getty Images

In 1937, the most famous female pilot of the day became the center of one of the most enduring aviation mysteries of all time. Amelia Earhart, best known for being the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic, vanished while attempting to circumnavigate the globe with her navigator Fred Noonan. Eighty years later, potential clues regarding her fate are still being considered. The latest is a forensic analysis that has one scientist claiming he's identified the bones of Amelia Earhart, The Washington Post reports.

The 13 bones were recovered from the island of Nikumaroro in the South Pacific in 1940. A British expedition surveying the island for settlement came across the remains, along with a bottle of an herbal liqueur, a box designed to hold a Brandis Navy surveying sextant (a navigation instrument), and a woman's shoe. All pieces are items that would have plausibly been on board if Earhart had crashed her Lockheed plane in the area.

A popular theory about Earhart's disappearance around that time was that she had died a castaway on a remote Pacific island similar to that one. Experts suspected that the bones may have belonged to the lost pilot, but the researcher who conducted an analysis in 1941 concluded they belonged to a man.

Forensic osteology, the study of bones, was in its infancy at the time of the analysis. With this in mind, University of Tennessee anthropologist Richard L. Jantz recently revisited the potential evidence that had been ignored by Earhart researchers for decades, a process he describes in a new study published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

He used more sophisticated methods than were available in 1941: A computer program he helped design called Fordisc allowed him to estimate the sex, ancestry, and stature of the specimen from bone measurements. He then compared this data to the estimated size of Amelia Earhart's skeleton based on what we know about her height, weight, and overall proportions. From this research, he found that the Nikumaroro bones are more similar to Earhart's physique than 99 percent of the individuals he looked at in a reference sample.

The castaway theory is just one of many explanations experts have given for Amelia Earhart's disappearance. Other possibilities suggest that she crashed and died at sea, that she crashed in Papua New Guinea, or that she was captured by Japanese forces and died a prisoner. Since her disappearance, many of these theories have been validated by new evidence and then discredited when that evidence turned out to be either fabricated or blown out of proportion. But if the claims of this new study hold up to scrutiny, they could change the way the story is told going forward.

[h/t The Washington Post]


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