Old 04-29-2009, 03:28 AM   #1
sea
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Default Least safe American airlines?

This is my first post here. I have this thing where I'm afraid to fly on any American airline, although I have multiple times within the U.S. Now I am considering flying across the Atlantic on one but am kind of scared...I almost want to shell out the extra couple hundred to fly BA. Am I just being paranoid? Which ones are the least safe?
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:36 AM   #2
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This is my first post here. I have this thing where I'm afraid to fly on any American airline, although I have multiple times within the U.S. Now I am considering flying across the Atlantic on one but am kind of scared...I almost want to shell out the extra couple hundred to fly BA. Am I just being paranoid? Which ones are the least safe?
Well to be honest, the safest airline in the free world to my knowledge is Qantas which has never lost an aircraft. In regards to US airlines, I have flown on many both current and defunct. The safest place on the planet to fly is North America and Europe. The airlines all have a specific set of guidelines for safety by which they all must adhere to. I wouldn't concern yourself!
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:53 AM   #3
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I wouldn't concern yourself!
I concur that. I worry more about convenience (on time performance and entertainment).

My 2cents adivce ... avoid Air India .
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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At least with regard to US airlines conducting international flights, they are all extremely safe with excellent records. There is no point whatever in trying to distinguish between them on safety grounds.

On Qantas, it is of course a myth that they have never lost an aircraft - they have lost at least two, but both were many decades ago. They have certainly never lost a passenger. They are a fine safe airline, but I am not sure these much repeated comments about Qantas are entirely valid given that Qantas is relatively small as an airline - their daily departure number over the years has been substantially lower than many of the big North American, European and Asian carriers.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:45 AM   #5
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I don't think there really is an airline company in N-America which is really unsafe.
If you really are wondering about safety , go and fly around in Central Africa, as a youngster I flew on an inland flight with Air Zaire once, better known as "air Peut-Ítre" ==> Peut-Ítre on arrive, Peut-Ítre pas , (translated : maybe we arrive, maybe not ).
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Qantas has never had a fatality on a jet aircraft, but it has had fatalities on propeller aircraft over 50 years ago.

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On Qantas, it is of course a myth that they have never lost an aircraft - they have lost at least two, but both were many decades ago. They have certainly never lost a passenger. They are a fine safe airline, but I am not sure these much repeated comments about Qantas are entirely valid given that Qantas is relatively small as an airline - their daily departure number over the years has been substantially lower than many of the big North American, European and Asian carriers.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sea View Post
This is my first post here. I have this thing where I'm afraid to fly on any American airline, although I have multiple times within the U.S. Now I am considering flying across the Atlantic on one but am kind of scared...I almost want to shell out the extra couple hundred to fly BA. Am I just being paranoid? Which ones are the least safe?
To put your fear of U.S. registered airline safety into perspective you need to figure out what caused you to come to that opinion about safety in the first place.

All North American airlines, all Western European airlines, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Singapore, Cathay Pacific and JAL rank about equally in my mind. I have flown most of them without concern for corporate safety culture or regulatory inadequacy. There are some other countries with national airlines that rank very well, Thai and MAS to name two, there are others. Most of the Middle East airlines are fine.

With the exception of SAA I stay away from all African airlines, all airlines operating as the national carrier of a third world country and any airline with a name I can't pronounce.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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If you want to be picky, you may want to avoid the airlines that dont do their own maintenance. Other than that, All US carriers are safe. Southwest has never had a fatality. (As far as I know)

I feel perfectly safe in ANY US based carrier.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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I would be more concerned about the drive to the airport then flying.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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Dmmoore: Regarding sub-saharan African carriers, what about Ethiopian Airlines? It's supposed to have a top notch safety reputation.

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Other than that, All US carriers are safe. Southwest has never had a fatality. (As far as I know)
Southwest has never had a passenger fatality due to an accident.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:27 PM   #11
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Dmmoore: Regarding sub-saharan African carriers, what about Ethiopian Airlines? It's supposed to have a top notch safety reputation.
Ethiopian has a decent enough reputation, at least for Africa, and I myself would probably take them without much thought. However, their record is far from clean over the past several decades. The real point, however, is that it is a small airline, with just 50 or so departures a day, compared with, say, 1200 for British Airways or 2200 for American Airlines. Therefore, a small airline with a supposedly good safety reputation and culture (and there are many) has to be considered in this context. See also my comment with reference to Qantas in Post # 4.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:47 AM   #12
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Yes, I understand how that can skew safety statistics in that way.

AFAIK Ethiopian's last fatal disaster was the hijacking in 1996. Captain Leul Abate performed well in that regard; I'm not sure if the failure to shield the cockpit would be a blame on the airline or on something else.

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Ethiopian has a decent enough reputation, at least for Africa, and I myself would probably take them without much thought. However, their record is far from clean over the past several decades. The real point, however, is that it is a small airline, with just 50 or so departures a day, compared with, say, 1200 for British Airways or 2200 for American Airlines. Therefore, a small airline with a supposedly good safety reputation and culture (and there are many) has to be considered in this context. See also my comment with reference to Qantas in Post # 4.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:54 PM   #13
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Southwest has never had a fatality. (As far as I know)
The little boy killed in the car they hit at MDW was counted as a fatality on WN's record, thankfully so far he's the only one.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:55 PM   #14
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This is my first post here. I have this thing where I'm afraid to fly on any American airline, although I have multiple times within the U.S. Now I am considering flying across the Atlantic on one but am kind of scared...I almost want to shell out the extra couple hundred to fly BA. Am I just being paranoid? Which ones are the least safe?
I suggest you shell out a few more bucks and charter a GV or 550SP or whatever they're called these days.
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