How safe is your airline? These tools will help you decide: meetings and conventions



by DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines
20 November 2018



International air transport has become a remarkably safe and fatal accident in recent years, such as last month's Lion Air crash in Indonesia, were born. Statistics aside, the accident is that passengers in some countries or some foreign airlines are not willing to fly. Airlines' security in Indonesia has been questioned long before the air crash.

"There has been a much greater fear of flying smaller airlines that Americans have never heard of" since the collapse of October 29th, said Blake Fleetwood, President of Cook Travel, New York. "It pushes people to bigger airlines, people are scared."

Before making big money for booking international flights, nervous pilots can use the means that can provide red flag warnings if there is any doubt about the safety of the carrier.

• The federal aviation authority determines whether countries meet international security standards established by the United Nations Aviation Agency. Five currently do not have – Thailand, Bangladesh, Ghana, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Airlines from these countries can not start new flights to the United States. Indonesia came out of blacklist in 2016.

• Europe is blocking 120 airlines from its sky. They are mostly smaller carriers from developing countries in Africa and parts of Asia. Lion Air has been banned for nearly ten years until 2016; other emerging Indonesian carriers have left the list in June.

• The air safety network has a database of accidents that can be searched by airline or country.

• Websites such as AirlineRatings.com rank the carrier on the basis of records of collisions and other data. This place gave Lion Air a single star rating of seven in 2016, but six out of seven last year after US and European regulators upgraded the Indonesian aviation-regulatory regime.

• Companies such as Argus International provide reports on charter airlines. Because they charge a fee, typically from $ 50 to $ 150, these services are mostly used by the corporate travel agency department.

All such reviews have their critics. Skytrax, the United Kingdom airline research company and passenger airline surveys, say there is no objective way to throw airlines into safety due to unequal incident reporting by airlines and regulators around the world.

A fatal air accident has fallen for approximately two decades. According to some accounts, 2017 was the safest year. The aviation safety network and aviation consultant To70 in the Netherlands said last year that there were no fatal accidents involving commercial airlines. Reports have excluded cargo aircraft, military aircraft and flights on aircraft certified to carry less than 14 people.

"Aviation security is much better, even in places that were obviously dangerous," said Alberto Riva, CEO of Body Guy, a frequent flyer website. Within one country, Riva says, some airlines have better security records than others. He said he would not care about flying to Garuda Indonesia, a national carrier, "but if I found a way to get around Lion Air, I would."

Fleetwood, a travel agency, said: "I will be removed from any airline not certified to fly to the European Union."

Matt Kepnes, who wrote "How to Travel the World at $ 50 a Day," said he was watching the news so much he felt that airlines had good safety records. "I do not understand that it would not be too much, unless it is a flight that I have not heard of yet, and especially those who do not fly to the US or the European Union because they have strict aviation regulations.

Kepnes said that airlines flying to many countries have better security records. He is more cautious about smaller airlines and domestic carriers in countries where he does not trust security standards. "I'm not flying with a Russian carrier … they have a history of bad security and the aircraft are pretty old," he said. "Indonesia has a record safety situation, so I do not like flying their national airlines, the same is true for India."

Jay Johnson, president of Travel Coast Advisors in Garden Grove, California, said clients often ask for personal safety, but they are less likely to ask if shipping is risky. "Given that so much attention is devoted to dangerous countries or regions, passengers tend to put safety issues on the ground rather than get there," he said. He said that air travel in the US is so safe that when people ask for a particular airline, it's usually about the creature's comfort and not the safety records. "It's almost as if the passengers were supposed to come safely, but have the airline lie down beds?" he said.

Travel agents often recommend buying travel insurance for overseas routes if you are unable to do so. However, if you are attempting to cancel, because the airline you plan to fly for has an accident, it is unlikely that you will be refunding the insurance. Cancellations are only included if the reason is specifically stated in principle – such as terrorism, weather events or illnesses – says Jenna Hummer of Squaremouth.com, a travel insurance-comparison site.

The exception is people who buy the "Cancel for any reason" policy. However, such policies generally have to be purchased when booking a trip or soon after, and typically cost 40% more than standard cancellation insurance, Hummer said.


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