Flying Cheap: Is it worth your safety?

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This has been on my queue for a while.  I didn’t want to watch it.  I didn’t want to be afraid to fly.  I was being silly, I thought.  So I watched it.  You’re about to see the paranoid side of me.
I wasn’t being silly.  This was really well done, but it definitely scared the bejeezus out of me.  It outlined what has happened to the air travel industry and the consequences of those changes.  One consequence is cheaper air travel.  That’s great.  But the cost of it was the scary part.
Some time ago, major air carriers such as Continental, US Airways, etc, started siphoning off their business.  They did this by selling/renting their planes to new regional carriers.  These regional carriers typically make shorter flights and charge less money.   When you order tickets through a site such as Expedia or Orbitz, it will pop up as a major carrier flight, such as Continental, but if you read the fine print you will see, “This flight is operated by …..insert name of regional carrier…..”

So why is that such a bad thing?  Pretty much, because a lot of regional carriers suck.  Their staff has little to no experience.  Meaning their pilots.  You know, the people you’re putting your life in the hand of.  They don’t always do great background checks into their piloting history.  One pilot failed flying tests multiple times in the twelve months preceding his employment.  This guy crashed a plane into a house, killing everyone.  They don’t pay their employees well.  Why would they?  They have no experience.  But when you’re not getting paid well you tend to not care as much about the quality of your work, and not be able to get a stable place to stay and sleep  between flights.  Driving tired can be as bad or worse than driving drunk.  Now imagine driving a freaking airplane like that.  Now understand that you are potentially getting on an airplane with a sleepy driver behind the wheel every time you step on a regional flight.

I initially found some solace in the National Safety Council’s most recent statistics that report that flying is safer than driving.  Your lifetime odds of dying in a car crash are 1 in 88, while the odds of dying in an air travel accident are 1 in 7,032.  Then I realized…people don’t fly as often as they drive.  Doesn’t that skew the statistic?  It’s not every time you get on a plane you stand a 1 in 7,032 chance in dying.  It’s over your life.  What are my odds every time I step on that plane?

Remember way back in the day when I posted this?

Knowledge is the antidote to fear. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today I’d argue that knowledge can sometimes be the catalyst for fear.  I’m glad I watched this.  Because I want to be educated and keep myself safe.  But the only way I’m going to be able to get on an airplane and not freak out is if I book everything with the major carriers, probably booking directly with the carriers so I’m 100% sure I’m not getting on a regional flight.  PRICEY!!!

4 thoughts on “Flying Cheap: Is it worth your safety?

  1. Dmarie

    I’m overall a big chicken about safety, but when it comes to flying, I swallow the fear. If I have to die a senseless death, I figure dying while flying somewhere exotic would beat choking on a peanut butter sandwich in my home! 😉

  2. femmefrugality

    Haha so true! This is my paranoia post. I wish I hadn’t watched that film, but it can’t be unwatched…sigh… I’m also realizing that I need to stop using the word suck so much. It’s getting annoying.


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