Southwest Isn’t the Only Airline SNL’s Lampooned; Just The Latest

by SharonKurheg

It doesn’t matter if you watched Saturday Night Live this past weekend or not. By the time Monday rolled around, just about everyone had seen the skit the show had done on January 28th.

If you hadn’t seen it yet, they pretty much lambasted Southwest airlines. They started with cast members Heidi Gardner and Devon Walker playing Southwest employees who apologized for all the trouble the airline caused during the Christmas holiday. They then went on to describe how the Southwest was going to fix things for the future – an example would be to upgrade to 2008 Dell computers (a step above its previously used 2002 ThinkPad laptops “with the little red nipple in the middle.” Those computers will now be used for the airline’s modernized air traffic control network instead of a pen and paper.). It only got funnier from there, but you get the picture. Here’s the whole sketch:

SNL’s track record varies so as far as skits go, this one was pretty cute. However it also wasn’t the first time Saturday Night Live made fun of an airline. Anyone remember these?

August, 2013: American Airlines

Captain Steve Rogers (Alec Baldwin) apologizes for kicking Alec Baldwin off an American Airlines flight for playing Words with Friends and praises him for dispelling the lie you have to turn your phones off.

This skit was performed the week after Baldwin had be kicked off an American Airlines flight for that very reason.

May, 2015: Virgin Atlantic

In May, 2015, the show had a sketch of Virgin Atlantic introducing bionic flight attendants (Vanessa Bayer, Scarlett Johansson) to disastrous results.

October, 2015: Delta Air Lines

October 2015 saw SNL make a video of two Delta flight attendants (Amy Schumer, Vanessa Bayer) sing a song about in-flight service goes horribly wrong.

Unfortunately, the video is very difficult to find, if not impossible. Word on the street is they used a copyrighted song in the sketch before getting permission, so the video had to be removed.

a woman in a uniform

April, 2017: United Airlines

April, 2017 was when SNL got to make fun of two major companies – United Airlines AND Pepsi – in the same sketch.

The sketch was right after the Dr. David Dao incident – when United employees dragged him off the packed plane in Chicago, causing him a range of injuries including a broken nose and a concussion.

Jimmy Fallon was the host that week. He played an ex-boyfriend trying to win back the affection of Jen, played by castmember Cecily Strong. He barged in on her while she was on a date with another man and serenading her with Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply.”

He apologizes but is quickly rebuffed: “No Doug!” Strong said. “You dragged a man off a plane this week!”

Once she ditches Fallon, she goes back to her other date and finds out he just directed the Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner, which was pulled after viewers accused it of exploiting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Here it is:

December, 2017: Aer Lingus

SNL got to make fun of TWO airlines in 2017. Here’s their skit about Aer Lingus, where the flight staff (Saoirse Ronan, Cecily Strong) of an Aer Lingus flight reminds passengers not to make the obvious joke.

January, 2018: Southwest Airlines

The “we’re sorry” sketch wasn’t even the first time Saturday Night Live made fun of Southwest Airlines. Back in January 2018, they did a sketch where Gareth (Will Ferrell) adds a dark twist to the Southwest safety rap Spencer (Chris Redd) and Sabrina (Aidy Bryant) have created.

November, 2018: jetBlue

A couple on a jetBlue flight (Steve Carell, Amy Poehler) have very different reactions to some news about their plane.

This skit was based on some real-life news at the time. The landing gear of the A320 in question, was twisted 90 degrees. The plane couldn’t dump fuel so the crew flew in circles for 2-3 hours. That way they used up the extra fuel so the plane wouldn’t blow up when they make their emergency landing. All 146 people on board disembarked uninjured.

Saturday Night Live has been on the air for close to 50 years, so there are undoubedly other sketches where the show made fun of other airlines. But these are some good examples to start.

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