Airline Travel

Modern Day Fear of Flying

In addressing her fear of flying in a recent Wall Street Journal article, author Eugenia Cheng did a good job of applying her mathematics skills to the question of whether she is safer on an airplane or in a car, but I look at the situation much differently.

While flying countless thousands of miles during my business career, I never worried about the plane crashing, knowing that the odds were overwhelmingly in my favor.

I will confess that, when a crash did occur, I made it a point to read about the results of the accident investigation, especially in terms of what steps the FAA would take to prevent such a recurrence. But that was about as much thought as I ever gave to the matter.

Now I only fly occasionally, but I do worry – about things that are all too prevalent today, and which I never would have dreamed about just a few short years ago. I’m talking about drunken and unruly passengers, people getting into fist fights over seat back positions, shouting matches over politics, the occasional pilot who shows up for work inebriated, and even the pilot who recently boarded her plane out of uniform, took over the intercom, and began to rant about her divorce, the election and who knows what else.

Being trapped in a sealed aluminum tube at 33,000 feet with these people – now that’s cause for worry.


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