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QANTAS: No longer playing safety video on Boeing 737 domestic flights?

QANTAS: No longer playing safety video on Boeing 737 domestic flights?

No safety video was played on two Qantas flights in the last week. A recorded voice announcement of the safety instructions was delivered over the public address system. It was accompanied by a cabin crew demonstration of the procedures.

a screen on a plane usually used for playing safety video
Overhead screen deployed for WiFi instructions but not for Safety Video [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Both flights were short-haul domestic between Adelaide and Sydney on Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The aircraft on both flights was the 22-year-old VH-VXG, which has no seatback screens. Dropdown screens are available overhead and were deployed to provide WiFi login instructions. So, they still work. It’s not like they have been decommissioned.

The most recent Qantas safety Video [Qantas]

Safety Videos

Video Instructions about safety procedures on aircraft come in a myriad of varieties and are used by airlines as a way of reinforcing their brand values. Air New Zealand has a reputation for being quirky reflecting New Zealand culture, – and blockbuster films.

Lord of the Rings-themed safety video [Air New Zealand]

Air France has a reputation for very stylish productions. ANA currently runs my favourite video with specific animations about tearing the escape slide if you don’t ditch the high-heels and explicit reasoning why you shouldn’t bring your hand luggage.

Qantas has expertly tugged at the heartstrings of even non-Australian passengers with its series of ‘We still call Australia home’ videos until the most recent interaction. The 2024 version has been mocked and criticised on social media for featuring only photogenic staff and frequent flyers, and being filmed in destinations that Qantas doesn’t fly to. It misses the emotional mark too.

a ceiling with a square object
Overhead screen not deployed for Safety Video [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Why no safety video?

This is the first time I have noticed that no screens were deployed on a domestic flight in a Qantas B737 aircraft to play the safety video during the safety demonstration.

I am speculating now about the possible reasons why:

  • Safety – it has been found in research that passengers are more likely to pay attention to the staff demonstration if there is no video
  • Efficiency – that not deploying the screens somehow adds to the efficiency of procedures in some unspecified way
  • Cost saving – not duplicating the video or disk or distributing the digital file to each aircraft saves money
  • Maintenance – halving the number of times the dropdown screens are deployed requires less maintenance time and checks
  • Shame – Qantas is so ashamed of the widely panned new safety video that it has headed the hate on social media and is limiting its exposure. The new safety video features frequent flyers and staff at destinations Qantas doesn’t even fly to and has been criticised for bias toward promotion instead of safety.

I have approached Qantas for comment.

a person sitting on a plane
Overhead screen not deployed for Safety Video, and no seat-back screens [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Between you and me, I doubt it is the ‘shame’ reason since they deploy this on international fights. Well, they did, at least on my last venture to Singapore with Qantas in February. Maybe they have stopped playing it on non-domestic flights?

I hope it is for the ‘safety’ reason detailed above. I’m one of those passengers who actually stops what they are doing and pays attention to the safety demonstrations. I usually watch the cabin staff and not the video, but I don’t think I represent the behaviour of the standard passenger.

Does the change in procedure matter? Probably not in the scheme of things. However, the withdrawal adds weight that the Safety video is more about promotion than safety.


  1. John Phelan

    My take on it is much simpler – with all the guff about various destinations, the video simply runs for too long for it to be practical for quick turnaround domestic flights (especially if the taxi to the runway is short).

    • 2paxfly

      Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. Although the full version is something like 9 minutes, there is a shorter version that they play on international flights, which I have seen. I can’t remember if I have seen a short version on domestic flights. Anyhow, I would have assumed that the the correct length for domestic flights would have been part of the original brief to the agency.

      • Daniel

        I’ve noticed the same thing on a recent return flight between SYD and MEL.

        • 2paxfly

          Hi Daniel,
          Thanks for the information. Could be widespread on short domestic legs then. Let’s see if its transitory, or long term.

  2. Pete

    It is not played as there hasn’t been a version made for aircraft that are not fitted with life rafts (the majority of the 737 fleet). Morons!

    • 2paxfly

      Hi Pete,
      Yes, a couple of people ‘in the know’ have said this. Given that they have 75 of these aircraft, it does seem an egregious oversight.


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