Surviving an airline fire: Do goofy or boring safety videos help most?

Lots of airlines have turned their passenger safety videos from boring sleep-aids to productions full of sight gags and giggles. But when bad stuff happens, such as the recent fire and smoke that consumed part of a British Airways jet on a Las Vegas runway, is funny or straight-forward better in helping us remember how to get out alive?

All 159 passengers and 13 crew made it off the Boeing 777-200, which was slated for a flight to London when its engine caught fire Tuesday evening. CNN reported more than a dozen were taken to hospitals with what appeared to be minor injuries. Social media went wild with dramatic photos and video of the fire.

In this photo taken from the view of a plane window, smoke billows out from a plane that caught fire at McCarren International Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in Las Vegas. An engine on the British Airways plane caught fire before takeoff, forcing passengers to escape on emergency slides. (Eric Hays via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

In this photo taken from the view of a plane window, smoke billows out from a British Airways plane that caught fire Tuesday at McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas. Passengers escaped using emergency slides. (Eric Hays via AP)

A British Airways passenger safety video shown online is animated, but it’s otherwise a straight-forward affair with no attempt at humor. Compare that with several recent Delta Air Lines videos that use wackiness to catch passenger attention.

We asked experts for their take on what works. Check out what the AJC’s Matt Kempner found in his recent Unofficial Business column on

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