“Deltalina” The Flight Attendant of My Nightmares

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Does this photo cause anyone to scream and immediately assume fetal position? Does it cause goosebumps to prickle up your arm and shock you down to your core? Well, it does for me. Katherine Lee, playfully nicknamed “Deltalina,” is the Delta Airlines flight attendant featured in the airline’s unnecessarily creepy safety videos. She is known for the “and remember…no smoking!” line where her breathy voice and finger wave are supposed to be sexy but let’s be honest…she is possessed and will murder you over that pack of cigs.

I remember the first time I saw the video while on a Delta plane with my father. As soon as they zoomed in on the sassy attendant’s bulging eyes, I’m pretty sure she informed us that if we started smoking we would be taken to her leader. Everyone else on the plane was business as usual, either half-asleep or deeply enthralled in their SkyMall magazines. But my Dad and I were very close to jumping out of the emergency exits her slender pointer finger gestured towards.

One of these days it’s quite possible that I will wake up in sweats after having visions of her standing over my bed whispering, “Something to drink…mam?” Rod Serling could have created an entire television series around her. Hitchcock would have had an absolute ball. I really think Hollywood should snatch Deltalina up.

I recently came across an article on the NYT website about how airlines are trying to infuse humour into their monotonous safety procedures. I must admit people are really getting desperate out there, like this bizarre safety video from a New Zealand airline titled “An Unexpected Briefing.” Yes, it is “Hobbit” themed.

I can understand why they are trying to spice up the standard protocol stuff. We have to keep it fresh! I mean, if it’s not sexy, scary, or funny people are just going to go ahead and start popping their in flight pills or drool on their neck pillows as they listen for the wheels of the drink cart. Additionally, flight attendants probably are tired of keeping that same tight smile as they perform the same standard speech to 100 lifeless beings in limbo.

So why not create a skit with robots and Deltalina looking over your shoulder as she plans your demise for openly smoking that pipe? See Delta’s latest video here, which was released this past November. Is this video really what the standards of safety have come to? There are girls playing Jenga on their tray tables for heaven’s sake!

Are airline marketing companies going too far with these videos? We can joke about oxygen masks and exit row responsibilities all day long, but in the end, if we make too much light of it, we may forget what to do when it really happens. Anyway, this blog post mostly serves as my rant about the flight attendant from my nightmares and the reason Delta airplanes visibly make me recoil.

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