Your flight attendants will now point out your nearest exits

As someone who works in process improvement, I’m constantly intrigued by the process decisions that I see companies make.

This morning, it was British Airways.

I frequently travel to various cities around the UK and Ireland for work. As you probably have experienced by now, British Airways have replaced all the live safety demonstrations with animated videos (hooray! collectively shout all the flight attendants).

But someone has decided that the flight attendants all stand in the same position they used to, channelling Buddha in a zen-like trance until the moment they have to show the exits. Apparently, the graphics and voiceover on the video are not enough – we need the Flight Attendants to do their little pointy waves to show us the nearest exit.

Why do they have to live to demonstrate the exits, but not how to put on a life jacket? Or a seat belt? Who made that particular choice and… why?

Speaking of seatbelts, is there anyone left who is still unsure of how a seatbelt works? Is this really a necessary part of the demonstration?

Why stop there? Perhaps they ought to demonstrate how one uses a chair? Or how someone should walk down the aisle?

“When boarding the plane, please take care to place one foot in front of the other at a reasonable distance apart. Please do not skip or jump down the aisle as you may fall and hurt yourself or a fellow passenger.”

They want people to pay attention to the safety demonstration but then they fill it with useless nonsense – a sure-fire way to turn people off.

The problem with this is that their process design is having the opposite of the intended effect.

Perhaps there are industry regulations that mandate what information is included. Either way – each time I fly I can’t help but notice how much of this process is nonsense.