Thursday, April 10, 2008

What do you think about air safety?

Is it safe to fly? I have no way of knowing, any more than any other average consumer. But I can tell you that it's not something I worry about.

You can argue all day long about whether the FAA is doing the job it should, whether airlines are trying to cut costs, and whether the current grounding of AA flights is as much about political showmanship -- as some stories have suggested -- as it is safety. If this is like most everything else, there's probably a little bit of truth in all those things.

Personally, I'm more concerned about traffic control in the air and near misses than I am about safety at one publicly-held airline. Market economics have severe limitations, but any airline that doesn't put safety first is going to end up with problems that can wreck the entire company -- and no management team or board of directors is going to be in favor of that.

Will the current mess keep me off planes? Not a chance. While I've had plenty of arguments with AA over the years -- I'm a million miler -- those arguments are related to sometimes surly service, not safety.

For some people, flying evokes a primeval fear, and any turbulence is reason to cling to the ground. Me, I drive regularly in Miami-Dade County. I guarantee you, flying on any U.S. airline is safer.

What do you think? Click to Comment below.

1 comment:

fitzthecat said...

The statistics speak for themselves. Flying (at least on American carriers) has been fatality free for years. You are much more likely to meet your end in just about any fashion besides flying. When I hear people worrying about time and safety on a flight, maybe they could imagine the reaction of Columbus or Magellan if they were told about a mode of transport that took you from North America to Europe in the space of an evening. I would suppose they would be perfectly happy hung from the ceiling like bats or stored in pull-out drawers.