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Southwest Airlines flight attendant David Holmes has become something of a minor Internet hit after passengers posted cellphone videos of his hip-hop inspired takes on the standard cabin announcements.
CNN also recently aired a segment on the 40-year-old former personal trainer who has worked for Southwest since 2005, becoming a flight attendant last August. Holmes, who’s currently based in Las Vegas, spoke with the Terminal Monday while preparing for his next flight out of McCarran International. Here are some edited excerpts:
MidSeat: Did you freestyle that rap on the spot or did you write it ahead of time?
Holmes: I cannot freestyle. I’m a big believer in not getting up in front of people unless you know what you’re going to do. That was written.
MidSeat: How often do you perform it?
Holmes: I just kind of get the vibe for how the people are going to be. Normally, I’ll almost always do it for a flight going into Vegas. A Thursday or Friday night flight into Vegas, it’s almost a sure thing. They’re ready to party. That’s usually when I get the biggest applause.
I don’t do it on a 6 a.m. flight. Nobody wants to hear it at that time. I’m risking getting a beating doing that at six in the morning.
MidSeat: Do you have different raps that you do at different times?
Holmes:There are three different rhymes I do depending on what position I’m working. There’s the announcement when you welcome the passengers aboard. Then there’s arrival announcement, when you reach the destination. The hardest one is the emergency announcement, which I wrote about six weeks ago.
MidSeat: Where did you write it?
Holmes: For new flight attendants, we’re often on airport standby, where you literally sit in the airport lounge waiting — sometimes for hours. To make the time go by, that’s when I do most of my writing.
MidSeat: Were there any parts of the emergency announcements that were particularly tough to rhyme?
Holmes: I had to make sure that the rhyme followed the same format that the regular announcements do. I think the section on being able to properly work the the exit rows was tough. Also the section on where the exits are located, I had to change the order of the announcement so it would rhyme.
MidSeat: Any plans for new versions of the rhymes?
Holmes: Now that it’s getting so much attention, I feel like I have to start writing new material.
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