Thursday, July 17, 2014

Winging It Safely

               Oh, they sailed out from England and were not far from shore
               When the rich refused to associate with the poor.
               So they put them down below where they'd be the first to go.
               It was sad when the great ship went down.
                          --from a version of "The Titanic"

Oh yes, the guys with the big bucks have long known how to place themselves in the safest possible positions. And they sometimes did it by making those less fortunate more susceptible to disaster. It therefore is strange that the moneyed classes could have gotten it so wrong when modern airliners became the travel vehicles of choice.

Many years ago, I heard mutterings about relative safety in airliner seating, so the idea is nothing new. The smokers exiled to the rear of the plane sometimes joked about it with observations such as, "The smoke may be doing us in, but if we crash we're in the catbird seats."
Be smart, move back
Safety and seating locations, however, never became much of an issue. But now that could change. The question popped up in a latest issue of AARP The Magazine. The AARP publication has huge readership, so we may assume the word will get around, and be relayed to those who can afford to travel in style. Here's the item:

"In 2007, Popular Mechanics published an analysis of 36 years worth of airline seating charts and 20 accidents, back to 1971. The numbers were decisive. Passengers sitting behind the wings had a 69 percent survival rate in an accident. Folks sitting over or in front of the wings had a 56 percent rate (first class was lowest, at 49 percent.)"

Wealthy folks fully understand 20 per cent differences. How long do you think it will be before first class is relocated to the tail sections of planes?


PiedType said...

They'll have to weigh safety against being able to board and deboard (?) quickly, which is, I've always thought, why 1st class is up front. And the most comfortable, as far as turbulence goes, is over the wing. But I've never minded moving to the back, having observed for myself that the tail section often houses the survivors in a crash.

Dick Klade said...

With first class in the rear, the biggies could be escorted up the aisle to deplane first. That would be good for their egos, which of course don't need any more inflation than they already have.

Tom Sightings said...

Shhhh, mum's the word. Let us po' folks sit where it's safe.