This is a no brainer to me, since I am flying to Europe (though not where I planned to) Thursday. But my aunt in Florida asked me "Aren't you afraid to fly?" My immediate and continuing reaction is "of course not!" It is far safer than any other mode of transportation. Getting to Colby yesterday afternoon after 14" of new snow, sleet and ice was far more dangerous than any flight (and took 20 minutes compared to the normal 3).
I love flying, though I no longer love the flying experience. But that's all thanks to the TSA. I changed my flight yet again for spring break research (4th time, but they were FF miles so no penalty) because as much as I prefer snow and cold to hot and dry, this winter has been brutal in Maine. So I'm going someplace just for fun -- Nice. (I'll be staying at the Hyatt Palais Meditérranée on the Promenade des Anglais. I'm not the biggest fan of the French Riviera, but the Hyatt has an indoor/outdoor heated pool which will be good for my arthritis -- and hey it's supposed to be in the 60s. We Mainers have been living below 0 for most of winter, including a snow and ice storm of 14" last Thursday through the weekend. I love winter and snow, but this winter has been brutal. I had planned to go to Athens, but unfortunately if you arrive before April, most nothing is open.
So I have a pool, a view of the Mediterranean, a 2 minute walk to the beach, and I am happy.
That happens to me but I always thought it was the auto-censoring that on one will admit is rampant at the site.
I am only flying infrequently now, and having missed being on Pan Am 103 by a few months I am not a Pollyanna just a realist. Planes are safe, people with evil intent will continue to have that intent, human error will happen, and we'll continue to assume we are safe, that is until we are not.
And I flew on TWA 800 not long before the catastrophe happened; later, after the crash (about a year later), I flew to London and on via train to Oxford. It was only in Oxford for a conference that I saw the news headlines (all of which presumed terrorism as did my lorry driver) and got the shock of 'it could have been me).
I'm no Pollyanna either. And while I am no conspiracy type, I still find TWA 800 troubling, mosly because of the very reputable military people who testified.
That said, I am not in the least afraid to fly. Like I said, driving what is normally 2-3 minutes to my workplace yesterday took 20 minutes and was very dangerous,
By the same token, there are some airlines I would not fly, and Malaysian is now in that group. Mostly I fly Delta or European airlines, but I have flown Egyptair and Turkish Airlines and found their service much better than most North American carriers.
But yes, evil people will do what evil people will do. I'm not sure we yet know we're dealing with evil people, but in any case, we can't live our lives being afraid of them. I, for one, will not be afraid.
I agree, TWA 800 is troubling. I do not believe the claim that the cause was a spark in the fuel tank... Too many eye witnesses saw something hurtling towards the aircraft, and like you said, the military personnel that testified don't seem that reputable...
Either way, I am not afraid to fly. I do think it's funny how hysterical people are getting because of the Malaysian incident, the US gear collapse incident, and the (just happened) Delta incident that saw part of the wing breakaway from the aircraft. People (in comments on the news postings) are connecting imaginary dots and saying that flying is unsafe... completely untrue! I find it even more funny that someone claimed they "almost died in a crash" during the US gear collapse incident. I'm sure it was terrifying, but it looked like a very mild incident. If you're able to calmly walk evacuate a plane in such an incident, that isn't a near death experience...
I love, love, LOVE to fly.
I admit that long flights can cause a little bit of nervousness, only because they provide more time for something to go wrong, and also because I would prefer to crash and burn up on land rather than perish in a deep, dark ocean where my mangled remains will become shark bait. It's just - you know, a personal preference of mine .
There's turbulence, eh (makes it more like an amusement ride).
And then there's turbulence. The kind that sends me wishing for some of Jerry and Iah's liquid medicine, even though it would be quite impossible to drink (maybe just bring me the bottle with it's small opening. )
Seriously, I'll never stop flying (unless there becomes a shortage of jet fuel, and yes, I do try to maintain a small carbon footprint on the ground and in other areas of my life, so I can use my fair share up in the sky guilt free).
I will say that, mostly for maintenance and standards reasons, I have always been picky about which airlines I will fly, and that will continue, but I will add security (or lack of it) to my reasons for doing so, which will undoubtedly lengthen my list of no-fly airlines, and yes, Malaysia Airlines has been added. This can ultimately affect where I go, for instance, Angor Wat in Cambodia is on my bucket list. I've never even thought about which airline would even get me there... hmmm, it could make a difference.
Actually long flights are probably safer because you'll be at cruising altitude for most of the flight PLUS the plane you are on won't be nearly as much of a workhorse type that they use on shorter routes (with lots of takeoffs and landings).
I think I too have struck Malaysia off my list of travel destinations (actually it never was on).
Flying for all that makes it terrible is still the most economical way to go long distances and cheaply, more cheaply than walking even. For shorter trips (NYC-Bos) I take the Mega Bus which costs $3 a person if you book a month in advance, takes 4.25 hours and your shoes stay on at all times. Plus it is dowtown to downtown, piece of (bus) cake.
not at all but will be interested in how TSA handles " crew check" where crew can go thru without full screening if they have a flight that day usually this station is in the exit ramp . Given that pilots may have been responsible will they make crew go back thru the full screening
I'm with ya Pluto, LOVE LOVE LOVE Flying!!
And flying on the newest UA B788 last evening was simply awesome. Having flown on the "Dreamliner" twice now this one being less than three weeks old was just, well words don't do it justice you have have to ride on it.
Anyway, flying is incredibly safe as we all know. I'd much rather be on an airplane than drive on an interstate, much rather fly for 10 hours than drive an hour and that will not change. The thrill of just being on an airplane to me is tarnished by the insanity that is the airport scene these days. Rude pushy people who are the only folks in the entire airport and then there are the handful of rude airline employees, but I'll still fly.