Aircraft Safety Card Collectors

The aircraft safety card, a document found in the seat pocket of every chair, in every aeroplane. Most people have a glance over it, put it back and forget about as soon as they get off their flight. However, as I soon found out, not everyone. I discovered actually there is a whole community of people who dedicate their lives to collecting, organising, buying, selling and trading these aircraft safety cards. Some of these collections include up to 12,000 safety cards from hundreds of different airlines. I set myself a brief that would allow myself to dive into the community, figure out what it was all about and then how to communicate this to an audience.

In order to get an insight into the community, I started researching how these collectors operate. This leads me to emailing collectors, searching trading websites and joining social media groups. I then made the first step towards becoming a safety card collector and purchased my first card off of Ebay. This allowed me to actually become a part of this weird and wonderful community. The response I got as I introduced myself as a new member of the group was overwhelmingly positive with many people offering to send me spare safety cards to help me build my collection! One of the members compared this to “drug pushing”, and this is what sparked the idea for the rest of the project.

The comparison of a niche hobby such as safety card collecting to the extreme drug world is over-exaggerated, yet strangely accurate once you start seeing the parallels between the two. Using the hyperbole of safety card addiction, to visualise what it would look like if this hobby was treated as a serious problem in a society like the drug industry. Re-contextualising in order to explore what it might look like if there was campaigning against safety card collecting or what rehabilitation groups may look like. I have presented here a few world-building images that visualise this.

Aircraft Safety Card Collectors Anonymous (ASCCA) is a fabricated addiction support group that applies recovery techniques to help safety card collectors. I used this group to help with the world-building around the safety card addiction.