Are Some Seats On The Plane Safer Than Others?
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19/05/2008 – Are Some Seats On The Plane Safer Than Others?
Over the past few months the question of “which are the safest seats on the plane” has come up a few times when helping people plan their flights. I always stop and wonder about this question, because there is no real answer to this question.
Should there be an incident involving the plane your safety depends on many factors. Every seat meets the same strict safety regulations, from the lay-flat first class seats in the front of a long-haul international airliner to the cramped seats in the rear of a small regional jet.
Your seat selection does no makes you safer should there be a problem. If your aircraft sustain significant damage, the likelihood of injury or death depends entirely on many facts that will not be “decided” until the impact or event occurs.
Statistically you’re more likely to be killed by accidentally falling than in a commercial airline mishap.
On average their approximately 17,999,975 commercial flights per year (compiled by averaging data from various aviation sources) and only 169 commercial airline fatalities a year. Compare the commercial airline fatality numbers to these numbers: 28,658 deaths by the Flu and Pneumonia; 41,616 by motor vehicle accident and 16, 274 deaths by accidentally falling (most in their own home)…this means that on average 16,105 more people die in an accidental fall than by flying.
Don’t plan for something to go wrong. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.
Um, you google much, or what?
Plane Type: 757
Safest Seat: Seats 10A and 10F. Though these are window seats, there are no 9A and 9F seats to block your escape, and the exit doors are just a couple of feet in front of you.
Plane Type: 747
Safest Seat: Rows 61 through 64, closest to the window. The 747 tapers near the rear, and as a result, there are no window seats in those rows, just extra space to help you relax during a flight…and escape in a crash.
Plane Type: MD80
Safest Seat: Rows 21 and 22 have an extra eight inches of legroom because they are near the emergency exits. And they’re far away from the engines, which are in the rear of this plane.
Plane Type: 737
Safest Seat: As far rear as possible.
For safety records of each individual airline and airplane type, check out airsafe.com. For seating charts, check out seatguru.com.
Three More Safe Bets
1. Fly Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines has not had any fatal events since it began service in 1971. Other U.S. airlines without fatalities include America West, operating since 1983, and JetBlue, operating since 2000.
2. Don’t overload the overhead
There are about 4,500 injuries each year in the U.S. from falling baggage, and more than 90 percent of them involve head injuries to aisle-seat passengers. If you have trouble lifting a bag into the overhead bin, that’s a good sign it should be stored elsewhere.
3. Choose a big plane
Single-engine airplanes have accounted for 73 percent of all accidents and 68 percent of all fatal accidents. Your chances of surviving a serious accident increase with the size of the plane; those with more than 30 seats are your best bet.
Dear “Stupid Photographer”
Normally I avoid publishing inflammatory comments, however yours intrigued me. Your information is based on massive incorrect generalization. You state facts on seat assignments that match only specific airplanes, not all planes have the same seating layout, even within an airline.
You state that on a Boeing 757 the safest seats are 10A and 10F because there is no seat 9A or 9F o block you in…….which means I assume you are discussing seats 10A/10F are exit row seats. Is this on a Boeing 757-200 or a Boeing 757-300? Which airline and configuration are you looking at?
For example if we look at a Delta Airlines Boeing 757-200 (752) in the domestic “two-class” configuration there is no row 10 at all. First class ends at row 6 and economy class starts at row 19. The exit rows are row 26 and row 27. If we peak inside a Delta 752 that is set up for trans-con routes (typically ex-DL-Song aircraft) first class ends at row 7 and economy starts at row 18. The emergency exits are row 18,26 and 27.
Still within the Delta 752 fleet, we find that they operate two different versions of ex-TWA aircraft. One version is a domestic seat configuration the other is an international configurations. In the domestic configuration first class ends at row 6 and economy starts in row 18. The exit rows are in front of row 18 and in front of row 36 and behind row 44. The Delta ex-TWA international 752 has the same layout, except the “business elite” cabin ends at row 4, with economy again starting at row 18.
My guess is that your reference to row 9 and row 10 for exit rows is in regard specifically to flying on an American Airlines (AA). On AA’s 752 10A/10F are indeed behind the exit door and seats 9A/9F are missing. US Airways operates the exAmerica West (HP) 752 where some aircraft have all of the “A-side” row 9 missing and seat 9F missing which means row 10 ideal for an emergency exit as well, but that is a somewhat obscure seat configuration, and not what you described, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
So aside from the AA and HP 752s no other 757 (200 series or 300 series) offers the seat configuration you describe. In fact most 757s I know have no row 10 due how the seats are numbered when spacing for both first/business class and economy class.
You also state that in a Boeing MD-80 you gain leg room in rows 20 and 21. Which version? The 80? 81? 82? 83? 88? 90? Leg room does not equal safety and I again assume you are speaking only in regard to the American Airlines MD-80, although the Alaska Airlines MD-80 also uses rows 21 and 22 for it’s emergency exit rows.
If you fly Delta you’ll find your MD-88 (Super 80) exit rows at the A-Side rows 25 and 26 and your E-Side exits in rows 24 and 25. Flying the Delta Shuttle? You’re exit rows are 25 and 26. On the Super 90 with Delta you’re leg room is in rows 27 and 28. Flying on Midwest Express? The MD-82 and MD-88 exit rows are in 19 and 20.
You suggest rows 61 through 64 on a 747? Is this the 747-400? What if you are flying on Air France where the 747’s rows end at row 56? Air New Zealand where the rows end at row 68? British Airways 747-400s stop at row 53. Ever fly Asian? They fly the 74E (which I have flown between HKG & ICN) and it ends at row 47 , while the Asiana 744 ends at row 64…………….please let me know where you came up with row row 61 to 64 as the safest seats?
I can go on, but I’d rather not.
Stupid Photographer Said:
“1. Fly Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines has not had any fatal events since it began service in 1971. Other U.S. airlines without fatalities include America West, operating since 1983, and JetBlue, operating since 2000.”
I’d also like to point out that America West no longer exists. A passenger can no longer book a flight with them, or even see their livery in the skies (except on a US Airways ‘retro’ jet).
Additionally on the 8th of December 2005 Southwest Airlines flight 1248 skidded off the runway at Chicago’s Midway airport. The ground-crash of the Southwest Airlines 737-7H4 aircraft killed a 6 year old boy. While the fatality was outside of the aircraft, it is still a Southwest Airlines aircraft crash fatality.
If you choose to quote information and statistics please make sure the are up to date and correct.