Air New Zealand’s new Christmas advert is not one for nervous flyers, or anyone prone to running late.
The 90-second TV spot is so action-packed it has to come with a disclaimer: “Please don’t rush at the airport … All stunts are performed by professionals.”
The premise is bland enough — an Air NZ crew member chasing a passenger to reunite them with a lost present. But the delivery is “The Festive and the Furious”.
As a frequent offender and serial optimist, it gives me flashbacks to missed connections and breathless dashes to the check-in counter. (When they say there is a “45 minute cut-off”, they mean it.)
Particularly this Christmas, we can only expect more passengers to be running around terminals like headless turkeys.
Despite being the season when airfares are at their most expensive and airports their most full, there’s evidence to suggest Christmas is also a peak for no-shows and missed flights. It’s a highly stressful time for travel.
Dodge this: Air NZ's action-packed stocking filler asks passengers not to rush through the airport this Christmas.
Auckland Airport CEO Carrie Hurihanganui has already warned several summer routes are already busier than pre-pandemic.
“It will be a busy summer with current projections showing capacity between Auckland and North America set to exceed 2019 levels,” she said during an earlier forecast. With seven carriers linking New Zealand to the United States, there is a predicted 29 per cent increase on pre-Covid passenger numbers.
Air New Zealand chief customer and sales manager Leanne Geraghty says it will be carrying a large chunk of Aotearoa’s Christmas air traffic.
“On Christmas day alone, more than 30,000 customers will be flying with Air New Zealand, and we want to ensure each and every one of them has an incredible experience,” she says.
While it didn’t specify the occupation of the “trained professionals” in the mini action movie, the star of the piece is Shanti Tucker, a fulltime cabin crew member.
Tucker, who performs her own stunts, says it was a novel experience but wasn’t too far removed from her experience of passenger service.
She also advised this Christmas would be one of the busiest in recent memory. Her tips for travellers were simple:
“Arriving a little earlier than usual, checking in online, and packing your patience always helps!”
Watch the stunt-filled festive film here.
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