Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Flappr, The Other McCain, The Daley Gator, Pirate’s Cove, and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Now then: It sure seems like folks are trying to avoid Boeing airliners lately.

Some fliers nervous to travel aboard Boeing aircraft following a stream of flight problems in the last three months say they try to book flights on other planes while others say they’ve turned to prayer or medications to get through their trips.

The shift in response toward Boeing took off in January after a panel plugging the space reserved for an unused emergency door blew off an Alaska Airlines jetliner 16,000 feet above Oregon. While pilots landed the Boeing 737 Max 9 safely, the incident has left a mark on many travelers.

“I just can’t step on that plane,” Leila Amineddoleh told NBC News, referring to Boeing aircraft. “Even if the chance of getting hurt on a Boeing flight, even with all these incidents, is slim.”

The last deadly crash involving a U.S. airliner occurred in February 2009 in an industry that saw 9.6 million flights last year. More Americans die in motor-vehicle crashes each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Yeah, air travel is, statistically, pretty safe.  In my previous, non-journalism career, I traveled a lot – lots of it international travel – and never was involved in an incident where I felt I was in any danger.

The problem with air-travel events is that they are pretty spectacular.  When an airliner goes down hard, typically everyone dies, and that’s hard to swallow.  It makes people nervous, just as it’s making people nervous right now, with stuff happening like emergency doors blowing off in flight and tires dropping off the landing gear.

In the end, it probably won’t make a great deal of difference.  Take us – if Mrs. Animal and I want to see our kids and grandkids, who are all down in the lower 48, we have to fly to go see them.  Not seeing them is inconceivable.  So fly we will.  We may feel a little nervous about it, but we’ll fly.  And, I imagine, so will plenty of other folks.