IT’S PLANE CRAZY!
Skies are friendly but airfares are earth-shattering
SINCE the catastrophic terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, there have been just 20 fatal accidents involving U.S. commercial air travel — yet the airlines are still plagued by plenty of problems, reveals an exhaustive National ENQUIRER investigation. Records show those accidents resulted in 143 deaths. But, incredibly, only five people have died since the end of 2013. In comparison, more than 46,000 Americans perish in automobile crashes each year while another
800 or so are lost in recreational boating accidents. “The only thing you can do that is safer than flying with a big airline today is staying at home,” says Vance Hilderman, founder and chief technology officer of AFuzion, a leading manufacturer of computers to keep aircraft safe. “And we keep improving the safety in aviation every year.” National Transportation Safety Board records obtained exclusively by The ENQUIRER show the number of fatal accidents involving commercial carriers in the
U.S. has fallen dramatically over recent decades — even as the number of aircraft in the skies has surged.
There were 62 fatal accidents during the 1970s resulting in 2,564 deaths; 44 fatal accidents during the 1980s resulting in 1,588 deaths; and 34 fatal accidents during the 1990s resulting in 858 deaths.
At the same time, traffic among commercial carriers has exploded, going from 552 million in 2002 to 811 million in 2019, before the pandemic upended the industry.
Experts credit the improved safety to stricter regulations, better safety technology and more training for pilots.
But even as safety improved, the airline industry has alienated customers with additional baggage fees, shrinking seat sizes, staffing shortages and canceled flights. And as inflation has soared across America, airfare prices have dramatically outpaced it, ballooning 25 percent in the last year alone.
“It used to be when people flew commercially, they expected to be pampered,” says Joe Gutheinz, a commercial pilot and former special agent for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General. “Today, passengers too often feel like inmates crammed into too tiny seats. This is not what people expect when they spend that type of money.”