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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.

The Secret to a More Pleasant Flight? Urinals

Even if you can deal with the lack of legroom, privacy, and decent meal options on airplanes, your patience may start to wear thin when it comes time to pee. Being stuck waiting in long bathroom lines on planes may feel like one of life's unavoidable annoyances, but according to WIRED, there's a way to make the experience more tolerable. The secret involves urinals and a bit of math.

At last month's Crystal Cabin Awards, a competition that recognizes innovation in aircraft interiors, Zodiac Aerospace introduced the Durinal, a two-urinal plane bathroom that takes the place of one toilet. Replacing a bathroom that serves all passengers with one that's made for only half the population may seem like a quick way to make the long-line problem worse, but there's some logic behind the proposed solution.

As Wouter Rogiest, a mathematician at Ghent University in Belgium, tells WIRED, gender-neutral bathroom lines are shortest when men have the option to head straight for a urinal. That's because it's quicker to use a urinal than a stall, and when men opt for the urinal, it frees up stalls for women. When he drew up an equation looking at hypothetical bathroom wait times at a concert, he found that a ratio of 14 toilets to eight urinals produced the most desirable wait times: one minute, 27 seconds for women and slightly under a minute for men. On a commercial plane, this ratio would come out to one or two Durinals per six conventional bathrooms.

Rogiest's concert equation isn't a perfect stand-in for airplane scenarios, so a more specific study would be needed before airlines could consider installing urinals. Unfortunately, if bathrooms with urinals do show up on airplanes, you can expect the spaces to be just as tight as they are now.

[h/t WIRED]

United Airlines Has Gotten Rid of Tomato Juice, and Customers Are Freaking Out

Lovers of tomato juice are a small camp, but a vocal one. And they're furious that United Airlines has replaced their beloved Mott's tomato juice with Mr. and Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix on all flights under four hours, which includes most of its domestic runs. United said these changes are part of efforts to “streamline” its food service, the Chicago Business Journal reports.

The stealth substitution has fueled a rebellion among loyal tomato juice fans, as The Week points out.

There is some truth to the claim that tomato juice tastes better on flights. One study revealed that the noise level on an airplane affects our perception of taste, making savory or umami flavors more delicious. Another industry-funded study said the air pressure and humidity levels make bolder drinks seem more appealing.

Premium and economy passengers flying United can also say goodbye to Sprite Zero, Jim Beam, Courvoisier, and Amaretto, which were cut from the menu. And although airlines are not exactly known for their cuisine to begin with, passengers will likely start to see a difference in the types of meals being offered. The Chicago Business Journal writes:

"The reduction in food being offered in many instances in first-class and business-class cabins is not insignificant. Hot breakfasts are being replaced on some routes with only fruit plates and muffins, and more substantial lunches are being switched out for wraps and chocolate slabs."

The airline has said it is "monitoring customer feedback."

[h/t The Week]


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