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SNL's Alaska Airlines Ad Puts a Hilarious New Spin on the Door Incident
Saturday Night Live's fake commercial starring Jacob Elordi offers a darkly hilarious new slogan for the airline: "You didn't die, and you got a cool story."
When a Saturday Night Live commercial parody gets it so, so right, they truly nail what's happening in the cultural zeitgeist. That was certainly the case during Jacob Elordi's January 20 episode. With "Alaska Airlines Ad," SNL shared its take on the January 5 incident in which a sealed cabin door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines plane while it was in flight from Oregon to California.
The magic of the faux ad lies in how well it navigates the feelings so many of us have about the news story, particularly following passengers' stories and photos of the aftermath: It was a terrifying realization of what can go wrong during the commercial airline flights that take off every day and, in our struggle to wrap our minds around the horror, you almost have to laugh.
SNL's "Alaska Airlines Ad" opened by acknowledging the scary accident, which thankfully didn't result in any casualties or serious injuries.
SNL'S Alaska Airlines ad slogan: "You didn't die, and you got a cool story"
"Safety is our number one concern," said an Alaska employee played by Elordi.
"Buuuut you got to admit, it looked pretty cool," another employee played by Kenan Thompson chimed in. "Plane flying around, no door."
"Everyone's screaming, cell phones whipping out into the sky," Elordi's character agreed, smiling. "It was awesome."
"That's why our new slogan is, 'Alaska Airlines: You didn't die, and you got a cool story,'" says Heidi Gardner's character.
"On other airlines, you can watch movies—but on Alaska, you're in the movie," Elordi's character adds, as the ad cuts abruptly into a scene recreating the chaos of passengers screaming as wind rips through the cabin.
A few of the ad's proposed solutions: "You know those bolts that, like, hold the plane together? We're going to go ahead and tighten some of those." Also, "we'll now be taking off with the inflatable slide already deployed."
To make passengers feel safe, "we've hired Sully out of retirement," Elordi's character reveals, cutting to James Austin Johnson as Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger in pilot dress.
"I don't know if I can do it again," Sully whispers into the camera.
There's something oddly healing about watching a lighthearted recreation of one of the story's most horrifying details (a boy, played by Andrew Dismukes, getting his shirt ripped off by force of air).
SNL's Alaska Airlines commercial also feels like a spiritual sequel to Season 48's "Southwest Airlines Announcement" starring January 29, 2023 Host Michael B. Jordan. That sketch, which was one of Season 48's most-viewed pretaped sketches on Saturday Night Live's YouTube channel, assumed a similar format as it poked fun at Southwest's scheduling disaster from late 2022. Watch it below.
Southwest Airlines Announcement