I've been watching the Northwest Airlines strike news. It's a more than difficult situation in a dying business model that is underperforming financially. The price wars aren't helping but it does make the consumer happy. All of this doesn't affect me as much as many others as I'm not a big traveler. But, I was thinking about it today and Northwest has had 4 fatal passenger events since 1970. That means that out of 9.2 million flights by the company, only 4 of them lost lives. That's pretty amazing. Now, if that amazes you... there is better.
In 9.5 million flights since 1970, Southwest Airlines has never had a fatal passenger event. One obvious mention here is that Southwest's 34-year history started with a focus on the southwest meaning a lot of short to intermediate flights instead of cross country. Yet, they added Chicago in 1985. In 1991, Baltimore/Washington International Airport is added to routes. The airlines was up to 2,800 daily flights to 60 airports in 59 cities by last year. The only other airlines with no fatal passenger events since 1970 are America West Airlines (2.3 million flights), America Trans Air (330,000 flights), Hawaiian Airlines (330,000 flights), Midway Airlines (80,000 flights) and JetBlue (new airlines currently unknown flight totals.) Check here to see stats on the airline you last used.
I have several friends that are paranoid about flying but it is interesting to see the numbers and maybe knowing what the stats are can calm some nerves.