Friday, November 19, 2010

First a Safety Lecture, Then Bikinis, And Finally Naked Women

The title above is not a clever play on words. It is a factual description of the following post. The links contain increasingly NSFW material, as described.

I am a pilot. My primary job is the safety of the flight. As the pilot of an aircraft without a flight attendant, my job includes briefing the passengers on the emergency procedures for the aircraft, ensuring they comply with safety regulations, and assisting them in evacuation if necessary. A secondary responsibility is passenger comfort. This involves requesting routing that maximizes calm air conditions, proper operation of pressurization systems, smooth control handling, making reassuring cabin announcements, and sharing my jelly beans.

When an aircraft has flight attendants, it is still the responsibility of the pilot in command to ensure that these things happen, it's just that the P-I-C delegates some tasks to the flight attendants. The flight attendants' primary responsibility is the safety of the flight. If everyone is complying with the safety regulations, that leaves the flight attendants time to work on their secondary duties of catering to passenger comfort. This involves serving drinks and meals, handing out headsets, resetting the entertainment systems, and the like. Way too many passengers mistake the flight attendants' secondary duties for their primary function, and think that when the flight attendant asks them to put their carry-on item all the way under the seat in front of them, that the flight attendant is being a busybody. Respect the FA as a safety professional who will get you a drink if all is well, and you'll have a nice flight. Treat them like an inconvenience who won't get you a fifth drink and who has their head in the way of your carry-on during taxi, and you get Stephen Slater, plus the cops meeting your flight.

Fortunately, flight attendants are not often called upon to go to the limits of their training with respect to ensuring your safety, and most seem to be able to tolerate unreasonable passenger behaviour within the limits of their patience. Some of them go above and beyond in the entertainment department, too: telling jokes, singing songs, and otherwise livening up the flight. The rest of this blog entry is about the "otherwise."

Irish discount airline Ryanair -- I believe I have another blog entry about them in the pipeline for later -- publishes an annual calendar featuring members its cabin crew in bikinis. Some people are outraged. The airline gets lots of free publicity. The women who choose to participate get some exposure. The charity-of-the-year gets some cash. A few passengers are stupid about it and need to have their attention drawn to the second paragraph of this blog entry. The thing is, good looking women in bikinis look good. People are going to look. And the thing about advertising is that you have to get people to look.

This ad from Russian airline Avianova starts off with the words "Few know how airplanes are washed ..." The rest is women in bikinis and soapy water. There are a couple of firefighters, too, but lets just say the same care was not taken in casting and costuming. Avianova. Fares from 250 rubles. "Welcome."

Not to be outdone, competitor Aeroflot is issuing a flight attendant calendar of its own. As I understand it, these images are part of a customer appreciation gift to Aeroflot frequent fliers. The Russian site that published them has several more images, including a number that represent multiple images for the same month, some clothed some not, as if they hadn't yet decided what level of undress the final calendar would represent. That seems a little suspicious. Wouldn't you decide on the images before turning them into calendar pages? But I suppose considering how easy it is to overlay the name of the month and the dates, and that the look of the printed image is going to influence the shots chosen, it makes as much sense as anything. Adme says they found the images on an Aeroflot flight attendant bulletin board, from which they have since been removed. I admit to curiosity about the missing calendar girls for February, March, April, June, July and December. I want to see some photos of the flight deck. And the flaps.

Notice again the red shoes. My red shoes are more like the ones in the Virgin ad. Much nicer. And to think I left those shoes off my hundred items list. I did, at least, remember a bikini.


dpierce said...

It's very important to scrub the tires.

GPS_Direct said...

Note to self: Research trans-Atlantic ferry permit for Piper Cherokee...

Certainly off to a racy start as soon as you leave the hemisphere!

I think I missed the Virgin Ad though. And, I must admit having a hard time picturing red heels, green hair, and compression stockings... Photographic proof may be required.

Critical Alpha said...

I sense an impending announcement: The Cockpit Conversation Charity Calendar 2011.

The photos would be replete with the woman in muddy boots, green hair....

kbq said...

GPS_Direct: Don't forget the Blue Skin!