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Airline Security Information & Scores: Ought to You Care?

As an aviation geek, I assumed it might be fascinating to debate notion of airline security. I’ll share how I really feel, after which I’d love to listen to what OMAAT readers suppose. Why do I carry this up?

  • Occasionally we see airline security rankings revealed, which regularly have questionable methodologies
  • Readers typically ask if there are any airways I’m afraid to fly, or if I take into account security rankings when reserving airways, as I’ve flown some distinctive airways through the years
  • I’ve a non-avgeek acquaintance who messages me each time she’s about to e-book a flight and easily asks if the airline she’s about to e-book is secure, and I’m very tempted to ship her this publish 😉

I’ll share my ideas, noting that my perspective on this has developed through the years.

I was frightened of flying

Earlier than I get too deep into this, let me be aware that whereas I’ve been in love with airplanes since a younger age, there was a interval the place I used to be frightened of flying. Each time we took off my palms would get sweaty and I’d take deep breaths. I’d take into consideration the entire issues that would presumably go unsuitable.

What if there’s an explosive within the cargo maintain? What if one of many pilots is suicidal? What if some upkeep wasn’t carried out appropriately, and that final screw holding a chunk of the aircraft collectively lastly comes unfastened? It’s straightforward to consider these items given the dearth of management we’ve when flying.

In my case, my concern of flying began after an terrible Royal Jordanian flight in 2013 the place I assumed I used to be going to die. I’ve flown tens of millions and tens of millions of miles, and to today that’s the one flight the place I truly thought we have been in peril (I’ll by no means know if we actually have been). It took me over six months earlier than I used to be even remotely over my concern of flying.

I point out this as a result of I don’t need to dismiss the concern of flying that some folks have. I’ve been there, so I can relate to it, even whether it is an irrational concern.

There was a interval the place I used to be afraid of flying

I take into consideration all of the issues that would go unsuitable

Additional to the above level, I’m not over my concern of flying as a result of I’ve taken an “ignorance is bliss” strategy, and simply don’t take into consideration issues. Fairly on the contrary, as an avgeek I discover nearly every little thing when flying, good and unhealthy.

I’ll take it a step additional — each time I fly a brand new airline or to a brand new airport, I search for the “accidents & incidents” web page for the airport or airline, as a result of I discover it fascinating.

On the floor I even have issues in regards to the practices at some airways primarily based on firsthand stories I’ve heard from pilots and different staff there, in addition to the protection data that airways have. I don’t need to title and disgrace right here, however simply to offer just a few examples:

  • I’ve issues in regards to the upkeep practices at some airways
  • I’ve issues about pilot coaching, pilot expertise, and pilot fatigue, at some airways
  • I’ve issues in regards to the company cultures at some airways, the place pilots concern punishment in the event that they report issues of safety
  • Throughout the board I’ve issues about pilot psychological well being, particularly at airways that don’t have a second individual go into the cockpit when one pilot leaves
  • I’ve issues about pilots being a bit rusty after returning to flying, since many have been furloughed throughout the pandemic; equally, with a pilot scarcity looming, I’m wondering about the way forward for regional jet pilots
  • There are some airways which have traditionally had very unhealthy security recordings, however they’ve improved significantly in recent times

I feel most individuals would agree that these are all fairly reputable, mainstream issues. By no means thoughts the stories in some international locations of pilots flying with faux licenses, or that at some airways hiring and promotions are primarily based at the least partly on who you understand.

So whereas I feel some airways don’t use “greatest practices,” the trade total is an unbelievable place in relation to security. The statistics present that you just’re nearly as secure within the air as on the bottom, even when I’m (frankly) shocked that extra issues don’t occur. I proceed to imagine that flying is an absolute miracle.

So much can go unsuitable when flying, however in some way issues work out

Why I’m not fearful about airline security

Having mentioned the entire above, I’d fly nearly any airline on the planet with out hesitation. Why don’t I care about airways’ security data? As a result of to me it appears foolish to try to make judgment calls between airways. While you have a look at the statistics, even the much less secure airways on the planet are safer than so many different actions we have interaction in on a day-to-day foundation,

After I get in an Uber or Lyft, I don’t do in-depth analysis as to the protection rankings or the automobile sorts that varied drivers are in, although that may arguably be extra rational.

After I fly I merely hope for the most effective, and put my life within the fingers of the pilots, mechanics, and no matter larger energy, as a result of the rest would simply be foolish, for my part. If I do die on a aircraft, then I simply had actually unhealthy luck, and so be it — I died doing what I like (to not be grim right here, however it’s how I really feel).

But when I truly needed to overanalyze the protection file of each airline, I’d be left with only a few airways to fly.

That’s to not say that I gained’t maintain taking a look at security data as I select airways (just because it pursuits me), however they gained’t change what I e-book. Although I’ll say that after I flew TAAG Angola just a few years again, I couldn’t assist however shriek a bit at the truth that the airline needed to “write off” a 3rd of its Boeing 737-200s. Ouch.

Not less than that’s how I’m feeling as of now. Who is aware of, perhaps if I’ve one other Royal Jordanian-esque expertise my opinion will change once more.

TAAG Angola has a not-great security file, however that didn’t cease me

Why airline security rankings are ineffective

There are many organizations on the market that put out annual rankings in regards to the world’s most secure airways, and I discover the lists to be form of puzzling. For instance, JACDEC (the Jet Airline Crash Knowledge Analysis Middle) lately revealed its rankings of the world’s most secure airways, and listed below are the highest 10:

  1. Emirates
  2. KLM
  3. JetBlue
  4. Delta
  5. EasyJet
  6. Air Canada
  7. Southwest
  8. Sprit
  9. Ryanair
  10. Qatar

Personally I discover the entire idea of those sorts of lists to be unusual. How do you actually rank security amongst airways that haven’t had a deadly accident in nicely over a decade? And I don’t need to say an excessive amount of, however claiming that Emirates is the world’s most secure airline is an actual head-scratcher…

My level is just to say that I wouldn’t put an excessive amount of weight in these rankings, or make any choices primarily based on this. In different phrases, your takeaway shouldn’t be “nicely I assume I ought to fly JetBlue over American, as a result of it’s a a lot safer airline.”

Emirates is outwardly the world’s most secure airline

Backside line

Aviation is extremely secure, and that’s a testomony to the trade total. Understandably many individuals are nonetheless afraid of flying, as a result of being hurled via the sky in a metallic tube at 500 miles per hour with none management is form of a miracle, should you ask me.

Whereas I continuously take into account dangers when flying, that’s largely simply because I’m excited by aviation. On the finish of the day I’ll gladly fly with any airline, although. Even much less secure airways are considerably safer than most different types of transportation.

And even for many who are extra cautious shouldn’t be involved when flying a overwhelming majority of airways. Whether or not it’s American, or Qantas, or Lufthansa, or Cathay Pacific, these airways all have high notch security data.

I’m curious how OMAAT readers really feel about airline security — is it one thing you concentrate on, and does it issue into the airways you select to fly?

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