• Toe-tapping in-flight safety demonstration a YouTube hit


    A video of an in-flight safety demonstration on a budget airline that sees flight attendants dancing in the aisles had attracted more than seven million hits on YouTube Wednesday.

    Passengers travelling with Cebu Pacific in the Philippines will soon be given safety instructions via the toe-tapping flight safety routine to Lady Gaga's tune "Just Dance."

    A test flight for the new safety demo was filmed by a stunned passenger and has gone viral on YouTube with more than seven million hits in a week.

    At the end of the two minute clip, passengers give the orange-clad flight attendants a round of applause.

    Candice Iyog, the airline's vice president for marketing, said it will roll out the dance on selected domestic and international flights later this month.

    "We have always been a fun and very family-oriented company," she said, adding, "The reaction has been positive. The passengers did pay attention."

    The airline hired professional choreographers to teach handpicked female flight attendants to help turn passengers' attention away from the windows.

    Cebu Pacific is not the first airline willing to use its staff in unusual ways to keep the attention of its passengers.

    In June 2009, Air New Zealand ran a safety video and ad campaign featuring naked employees, their modesty protected only by body paint and strategically placed seatbelts.

    But the Cebu Pacific dance moves have not gone down well in the Philippines.

    Several legislators and the union for the country's flag carrier Philippine Airlines said the video was demeaning to women.

    The women's political party Gabriela said the routine is "a cheap promotional gimmick" and branded the airline "a purveyor of sexism and machismo."

    And the Philippine Airlines cabin crew union said the video did not help the union's campaign to lift a company policy that forces female flight attendants to retire at the age of 40.

    "This gender-insensitive packaging is a throwback to the unenlightened past during the 50s and 60s when 'stewardesses' were made to wear hot pants and mini-skirts to appeal to the dominantly male business travelers," it said.

    It is the second major Filipino dance clip to become a viral YouTube hit, following a Michael Jackson-themed performance of prison suit-clad prisoners which first appeared in 2007.

    Cebu Pacific serves the Philippines and East Asian destinations and is known for its cheap fares and token prizes awarded to passengers at in-flight parlor games.

    Copyright 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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