Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

I sometimes have days, weeks even, when nothing surprises me. 

Then, seemingly out of thin ether, along comes perhaps a very small thing and I descend into marveling and even the odd, uncontrollable bout of chuckling. 

This week's candidate involves, surprisingly, an airline.

American Airlines, to be precise.

This vast carrier has decided to make a few changes to its inflight safety video.

What, you might hiss, could be surprising about that? 

Perhaps some rules have changed. Perhaps the airline has decided to emphasize a different aspect of its procedures.

In this case, however, American is -- according to View From The Wing -- changing its safety video because passengers couldn't stand how it ends. 

You see, having reminded you of all the things you have to do to keep yourself safe on the plane, a (possibly) Flight Attendant says you should ask the cabin crew for anything you need, because "as always we're here to make your flight great, coz great is what we're going for."

This seems typical corporate gobbledy-blah-di-blah, doesn't it?

Oh, but then whole groups of American Airlines employees emerge onto the screen cheering away, as if the airline had just won the Gold Medal in the Great Airline Olympics In The Sky.

This is what seems to have endangered the state of passengers' nerves.

Here they were, say, sitting after a three-hour delay, still not knowing how late they were going to be or when they'd get a glass of water. 

And there was American Airlines cheering away, proclaiming its greatness.

Which may have made one or two passengers want to thump -- or even offer a less than discreet Glasgow Kiss to -- the screen in frustration.

Internal American Airlines communication seen by View From The Wing says: "We've adjusted the ending to dial down the cheering at the very end, and faded the music out to be subtler."

When you're creating a piece of communication in isolation, context can be hard.

It's easy to forget what circumstances the communication will be seen in by your customers.

They might not have bought into the corporate rah-rah quite as well as you. Or even at all.

They might be in a very different frame of mind than you are in that warm editing suite.

One of the main jobs of an airline is to put the passengers in the right mood.

One way that some European airlines do it -- especially the British ones -- is the soothing tones in which the pilots speak. 

There's something so reassuring about that.

On the other hand, how many times have I been on a Virgin America flight -- fine, though they can be -- and pleaded that they turn the volume on the safety video down.

Much as I secretly enjoy the painfully catchy tune. 

It's heartening to know that American Airlines cares enough about its video (and even its passengers) to do something about it.

I asked the airline how many passengers had complained about it.

A spokeswoman would only reveal: "After listening to the feedback of our team members and customers we made edits to the end of our safety video."

Ah, so that cabin crew didn't think the cheering was warranted either?

Published on: Feb 24, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.