ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View

Travelers' Aid: Good News in the Skies?

Real Audio Listen with RealAudio          help Need audio help?

Remember how awful it was to fly last summer - all the delays, cancellations, and labor unrest? Well, get ready: this summer could be worse.

I already talked about Northwest Airlines and its mechanics. Legally, they're allowed to walk out March 11th. But both sides want to resume talks, and President Bush is saying they'll have to. He's going to order an additional 60 days of no-strike arbitration.

But now other negotiations are heating up. Just this week, a labor slow-down at JFK forced American to cancel 140 flights in one day. Delta's pilots on Thursday reached the second-to-last step before a strike. United's dealing with its flight attendants this year.

So, is this going to be the summer of strikes? Well, not all bad news this week. A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board says that, even as the skies get more crowded, they're also getting safer.

The study looks at airplane accidents since 1983. And get this: you have a 95.7 percent chance of surviving an airplane accident. Even in accidents with major injuries, fires, or substantial aircraft damage - there's a 55.6 percent survival rate.

Bailey: "This pretty much outlines how safe air travel is."
That's Paul Bailey, creator of amigoingdown.com, where you can input the flight you're taking, and you'll get the statistical chance of its crashing. On a flight I took from India to Malaysia last week, there was a 1 / 881,766 chance that I was going down. Well, ha ha! Here I am.

Paul started the website because he was tired of the media's attention to air accidents. He wanted to show how safe air travel is.

If you'd like us to address your travel questions or concerns, send us an email. Or, you can snail-mail them in. The address is The Savvy Traveler, in care of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90007. Or call us at 888-SAV-TRAV.

Savvy Resources:

To learn more about the safety of air travel, visit:


NTSB Report on Air Accident Survivability Rates

Return to Travelers' Aid Archive

American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy