A READER TOLD me that a friend was travelling across southeast Asia when a flight attendant made an announcement.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to land in Singapore. If you have any drugs, you will be executed. Thank you.”
There was stunned silence.
The really funny thing in my opinion is that it was not a joke. Life in Asia is strange: there’s nothing really quite like it.
But sometimes airlines deliberately DO make jokes.
Readers last week proposed we claim the sky by putting a flag into orbit.
It was all an elaborate joke, of course. Travelling for work is exhausting, so a bit of airborne wit is welcome.
I heard about Kulula from reader Christian Fardel, an airport executive. Below is a picture of one of their aircraft.
When passengers get on board, the flight attendant says:
“Keep your seatbelts fastened low and tight around those gorgeous hips.”
“There are eight emergency exits on the aircraft, and the crew will do the Macarena and point them out to you now.”
(Video link at end)
They even joke about the crime rate:
“Please check the overhead storage, the seat pocket in front of you as well as your neighbor's bag for all of your nice goodies.”
But Kulula still lags behind Southwest Airlines of the US, traditionally the world’s wittiest airline.
Some stewards even rap, like this guy above.
But most just frame the boring announcements they have to make with jokes.
Here are four typical lines:
1) “If you don’t like our service, we have six emergency exits.”
2) “Cabin crew are coming down the aisle to make sure that your seatbelts are on and your shoes match your outfit.”
3) “To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. If you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised.”
4) “Make sure to take all your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
Sometimes the witty lines have a purpose. On Southwest, the flight attendants say:
"The button over your head with the picture of a light bulb on it turns on your light. The button with the picture of the flight attendant does NOT turn on your flight attendant so DON'T PUSH IT.”
But a flight attendant working in Asia told me that there was one Southwest line that she wished her bosses would allow her to copy:
“This is a non-smoking, non-whining, non-complaining flight.”
But let’s finish with a story that takes us back to the cheery subject of Asian airlines and imminent death.
Picture the scene.
An Air Koryo jet is moving down the runway in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Suddenly it stops and goes back to the gate.
After a two-hour delay, it finally takes off.
A passenger asks: “So, what was the problem?”
The steward replies: “The pilot was bothered by the fact that the engine didn’t sound right. So we took immediate action. It took a couple of hours to replace the pilot.”
Welcome to Asia. Now sit back and enjoy your flight.
T-shirt for Fardel’s daughter
This is funny that this video just came out yesterday on youtube.
It has been watched by over 4 millions people in less than two days.
Did you make it?