Safest Airplane Seat

This may interest the frequent fliers…

(Chances of survival in case of a crash. Pick your seats wisely – it may even keep you alive in the unlikely situation. Note the irony of things – you pay more for Business Class but your chances of survival is even slimmer. Image source: Popular Mechanics)

From Popular Mechanics:-

A look at real-world crash stats, however, suggests that the farther back you sit, the better your odds of survival. Passengers near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows up front.

That’s the conclusion of an exclusive Popular Mechanics study that examined every commercial jet crash in the United States, since 1971, that had both fatalities and survivors.

The raw data from these 20 accidents has been languishing for decades in National Transportation Safety Board files, waiting to be analyzed by anyone curious enough to look and willing to do the statistical drudgework.

In the past, I did not really care much on where I am seating as long as I am in the right plane and heading to the right destination. Some of my friends like to seat in front for a couple of reasons – it is nearer to the lavatory (especially for those who have small storage “tank”), it is easier to disembark (since most of the time, you will disembark from the front) and there is a higher chance of getting the available meal (if they are serving fish and chicken – one of this would run out by the time the meal trolley reaches the back).

But over the years, I find that it is more comfortable seating at the back – there are more empty seats at the back. So, I can put my spare items on the empty seats. Further, with empty seats at the back, I don’t have to worry about reclining my seat and inconvenience the passenger at the back when they are having their meals (something that some passengers at the front don’t think when reclining their seats). Ya, by seating at the back, it takes a longer time for me to disembark but it does not make any big difference.

Disembarkation is pretty fast in modern planes – sometimes they even open the door at the back to ensure passengers get off even faster. The real delay is often encountered at the immigration counters and luggage retrieval areas.

(The meal during my Chennai – KL trip in Malaysian Airlines. It was not so bad once you get used to eating “not really fresh” airline meals)

And with most of the crying babies and “hard to handle” kids sitting at the front, it is somehow “quieter” at the back – an added advantage in a 7 – 8 hours flight.

And when it comes to getting your food of choice, it is not really a big problem. These days, I simply log in to the airline website, pick my seat of my choice and can decide to have something different for my airline meals (such as meals cooked for Hindus or vegetarians). This way, you are pretty sure that there is one meal reserved for you no matter where you are sitting. I had special meals for Hindus in my recent flight and I was surprised on how good the meal looked and tasted compared to the usual airline meal which is usually predictable and bland (so much so my neighboring passenger wanted the same meal as mine).

And now with the statistics backing me up, the back seats looks so tempting and safe…

Read Also

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