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Oceanic Airlines

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A form of Fictional Counterpart specific to airlines.

Quite often, when a story calls for a plane crash, an in-flight incident, or some other misfortune to happen to a passenger plane or airline service, Hollywood (and sometimes other media) decides to name the service Oceanic Airlines. Naturally, real airline services wouldn't want to associate with these stories, since it would imply to the audiences that their service is unreliable. Nevertheless, it's bizarre, almost uncanny, that Oceanic Airlines keeps popping up in totally unrelated stories.

Part of this is due to Prop Recycling and Stock Footage: for the film Executive Decision, a pair of Boeing 747s were painted up in the livery of a fictional airline, Oceanic Airways. The aerial shots were reused in other works (because putting a pair of planes in the air just to film one of them in flight is expensive), and the planes themselves saw use in later films. From there, a tradition was born.


The same thing is done with the now real shipping company "Pacific Courier," which brought the terrorists in a truck to the Nakatomi Building in Die Hard, had one of their trucks blown up along with Bonwit Teller in Die Hard with a Vengeance, and one of their planes is destroyed by the bus explosion in Speed.

Compare Brand X and Alan Smithee.


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    Fan Fic 

  • The original example is the 1996 film Executive Decision, about a team of commandos (and Kurt Russell) performing an in-flight infiltration of an airliner that has been hijacked by terrorists intent on using it to attack Washington, DC. Aerial from this film was reused in other films and TV shows as a cost-saving measure, causing Oceanic Air to get plenty of free PR.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alias: An Oceanic Airlines flight to Sydney was mentioned in passing.
  • FlashForward (2009): An Oceanic Airlines ad appeared during the pilot episode.
  • Fringe has an ad for Oceanic.
  • An Oceanic plane crash kicks off Lost. Also revitalised modern usage of this trope by way of Shout-Out.
  • JAG: An Oceanic Airlines (how typical) flight to Seoul gets hijacked by South Korean radicals in 5th season episode "The Bridge at Kang So Ri". Luckily enough our heroes take care of the situation.
  • The X-Files, "Synchrony": Agents Mulder and Scully search the hotel room of the mysterious old guy who seems to have come from the future. Scully finds a note pad in his room. There are the words "Pan Oceanic flight #1701" written on it.
  • An early episode of Chuck mentions Oceanic Flight 815 being shot down in passing.
  • In The Goldbergs episode "Smother's Day", Murray gives Adam Oceanic Airline tickets to Houston.
  • The earliest mention of the airline comes from the Flipper two-part episode "The Ditching", originally broadcast on October 30 and November 6, 1965. Sandy and Flipper fly aboard Oceanic Airlines Flight 17 (a Douglas DC-3 instead of the jet planes the airline usually operates), which naturally crashes into the sea.

    Video Games 
  • In Dead Island, planes occasionally fly overhead. The one from Oceanic Airlines, naturally, sends a distress signal shortly before crashing onto the island.
  • In The Wolf Among Us, an Oceanic advertisement is seen on the roof of a taxi.
  • In Microsoft Flight Simulator X, one of the fictitious airlines you can control is named "Oceana Airlines", possibly as a Shout-Out from this trope.

  • Derelict: Dang comes across a crashed passenger jet which is sporting an Oceanic Airlines logo.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


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