It is often said that flying is the safest mode of transport and, although I’m not 100% sure, I assume that there are statistics to back this statement up. It has to be said though – putting it kindly – that 2014 hasn’t been a particularly good year for airplanes and their passengers.
First of all we had the truly baffling case of MH-370 in March, which appeared to completely disappear off the face of the earth with very little trace. This has been followed up by the catastrophic events of the past two weeks, which have seen another Malaysia Airlines plane get shot down over Ukraine, and two more fatal plane crashes in Taiwan and Mali.
It’s hard to deny that this is something of a nervy time. The MH-370 case was scary and confusing enough, but could be put down as a one off. Is it just a huge coincidence that the last few weeks have seen a number of other fatal incidents?
I’m naturally quite cynical when it comes to conspiracy theories, and I’ve seen plenty bandied about over Facebook, Twitter and the internet in general over the past few weeks. As I said, my nature doesn’t really allow me to give this things a second thought, but it’s hard to avoid that nagging doubt in the back of your mind sometimes. So, the question for me is…
Somewhat understandably, some people are starting to think twice about air travel in the near future. I asked on my Facebook page and Twitter feed whether the last few weeks have made people more cautious about flying, especially in the near future. Some people said that they weren’t scared, although it’s sometimes hard to fear the worst. One person even said that they think there may be other life forms operating in the sky.
The response I received from most people however was that yes, they are now more scared of flying and will possibly leave it a while before they do again. It’s hard to know how to view this perspective.
Firstly, it’s completely understandable that some people will have doubts in their minds about flying. For me, the past few weeks in particular have made it nigh on impossible to not consider the worst, even for the briefest amount of time. There is, however, the cynical part of me that says that it is all pure coincidence and that flying is still probably the safest and best way to get around. Yes; the last few weeks have been tragic and there is absolutely no denying that, but if every fatal car, bus, train and coach crash made it on to the news then the broadcasts would go on all day.
Of course, a plane crash is on a much bigger scale and that is why we hear about them more, but no matter what has happened recently they are surely still much, much less frequent than any other mode of transport crashing.
That how I see it anyway. When I leave Singapore and probably head to the Philippines, I’ll be getting a flight there. There will, of course, be some horrible nagging feelings in the back of my mind, but it won’t stop me from flying.
What are your thoughts on flying? Has your mindset been changed by recent events?