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10 Most Unsafe Dangerous Airlines In America

The 10 most unsafe dangerous airlines in America may not kill you (air travel in the U.S is incredibly safe), but it’s always helpful to know which airlines are potentially more lax about safety than others, whether you’re looking for a cheap flight to LAX, or prepping for a world tour and wondering what to take on a long haul flight.

Many people have a phobia about air travel, perhaps because there’s a sense of having no control and your fate essentially being given up to the pilot/airplane/God, though you’re largely just as helpless in every other travel situation. Even if you’re driving a car, there’s simply no way to avoid some accidents, so being in control of the car is only providing a transparent sense of control.

2016 was one of the safest years for air travel ever, with just 19 fatal crashes globally, which resulted in 325 deaths. By comparison, over 35,000 people in the U.S alone were killed in car crashes in 2015. In terms of distance travelled, the safest way to travel by a landslide is flying (not traveling via a landslide, which probably isn’t very safe). Data compiled by Northwestern University showed that between 2000 and 2009, there were just 0.07 deaths per 1 billion passenger miles travelled via air in the U.S. That was even safer than rail travel, which checked in at 0.43. Cars meanwhile came in at a dramatically higher 7.28, while motorcycles were the least safe method of travel at 212.57 deaths per billion miles.

Ian Schofield/

Ian Schofield/

Air travel is now so entrenched that even tragic events appear to have little effect on the stocks of airliners, as one accident is unlikely to scare anyone away from traveling via planes, not when only 1 in over 10 million passengers is killed. You literally have less fortuitous odds of getting hit by lightning in any given year (1 in 700,000). Acts of terrorism on the other hand correlate more strongly with airline stock price action, as investors worry over whether tourism will be affected to certain regions or even globally.

Air travel is so safe in fact that only 5 of the 16 U.S-based carriers that were analyzed by received less than a perfect safety rating. AirlineRatings uses various data to assign its safety ratings to airlines, including whether they are IOSA certified, are blacklisted by the European Union (presumably due to poor safety standards), and whether they are fatality-free over the past ten years.

To uncover the most unsafe dangerous airlines in America, we analyzed the Aviation Safety Network’s extensive database of aircraft incidents. We restricted the list to only active regional or mainline carriers in the U.S, to keep it as relevant as possible. Check it out beginning on the next page.

And if you’re itching for further airline-related reading, then be sure to check out the 11 safest low cost airlines in the world.

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