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Experienced fliers have heard it all countless times: Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times, place seat backs and tray tables in their full upright position upon take off and landing, blah, blah, blah …

No one’s saying in-flight safety reminders aren’t important—we could all use the refreshers, especially in the event of an emergency. But when you’re settling in for your plane trip, it’s easy to turn your attention elsewhere—or just let your eyes glaze over—than to listen to another bland video.  That’s why many airlines are getting creative. Taking acuefrom trailblazer New Zealand Airlines, which has developed a cult following for creative videos featuring Richard Simmons and Betty White and ode to “The Lord of the Rings,” more air carriers are jumping on the bandwagon to make videos you won’t want to miss. The following, five of our current favorites.

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Most chic: Air France’s “France is in the Air”

Leave it to the French to produce the most stylish safety video ever. In both French and English, bright red lipsticked-models demonstrate how to fasten your seatbelt so that “it will elegantly highlight your waistline.”

Best cameos and production values/cheekiest: Air New Zealand’s “Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made”

The “official airline of Middle-earth” made this fun, fantastical homage to “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy. At last count, it had more than 15 million hits on YouTube from fans that return again and again to watch get their safety tips and catch guest appearances by Elijah Wood (Frodo!) and director Peter Jackson. (There’s also a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the film.)

Funkiest: Virgin America’s “Safety Dance”

Employing some of the top choreographers, producers and dance stars around (including 10 past “So You Think You Can Dance contestants”), director Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never,” “Step Up 2, Step Up 3D”) put together this showstopper video. It incorporates 14 different dance styles, from jazz and tango to break dancing, to get passengers to pay attention to the airline’s safety messages.

Most Flexible: United Airlines’ Team USA Safety Video

Gymnasts, swimmers weightlifters and other athletes representing Team USA in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are the stars of the newest safety video from United Airlines, which flies athletes to training centers and competitions. Among them are soon-to-be household names, including swimmer Missy Franklin and decathlon star Ashton Eaton. The video also includes cameos by a llama and Nessy the Sea Monster, characters popular in last United safety films. 

Best reason to make to book another vacation, stat: Qantas Airlines’ 2016 video

Australia’s rich cultural diversity and panoramic views of the country’s lush landscape are the stars of this video. Whether you get excited by the thought of hang gliding off Stanwell Tops, visiting the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania or swimming the turquoise waters of Bondi Beach in Sydney, the sweeping scenery in this video will have you longing for our next trip before this one is over.

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Judy Sutton Taylor

Judy Sutton Taylor

Judy Sutton Taylor is a journalist, travel lover and mom in Chicago, Illinois. Find her on Twitter at @jsuttontaylor.

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