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Worries about American Airlines

Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 06:28 AM
  #1  
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Worries about American Airlines

Autoeurope is offering a great price on AA's JFK-Rome non stop in June for $505 per person (incl. tax). I'm a fearful flyer in ordinary times, but because of 9/11 and the crash at jfk a couple of months later, I'm especially fearful to fly on American. Am I being ridiculous?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 06:34 AM
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That's a great fare! And the good news about American is that they have the most leg room in coach. Personally I wouldn't be worried. But I know that doesn't help much. Just think about how many thousands of AA flights have taken off from JFK since that dreadful day and look forward to a wonderful time in Rome.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 06:44 AM
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You're not being ridiculous--nobody ever said fear had to be rational.

I have tickets on American for an upcoming trip, and while it did cross my mind that I might in some ways be safer on Air Canada, my particular irrational fear is flying out of Logan. We were there prior to 9/11 and security was non-existent so I wasn't surprised to learn that two of the hijacked plans left from there. I'm calming myself with the theory that, because of this breach, they are taking security to heart now (which was confirmed by a recent NPR story).

It's all a matter of personal priorities--if you'd feel better flying on a different airline and can afford to spend more $, then by all means, comfort yourself and do so. If that's not possible and the trip is so close to your heart that you can overcome your fear, then go for it (that's what I'm doing, but I'll be a basketcase until we get there and then again until we get home. . .)

Sometimes just acknowledging your fear and knowing that other people feel the same way helps. So thank you for posting this--it helped me feel a bit better.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 07:08 AM
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rex
 
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<<I'm especially fearful to fly on American.>>

Two recent threads that might be worthwhile reading for you, with quite a few different perspectives.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34401877

and

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34403478

And for what it's worth, taking our entire family to Europe in May.

Best wishes,

Rex
[email protected]
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 08:41 AM
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Thank you, everyone! Your replies are really helpful. And thanks too for not mocking my worries!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 09:02 AM
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Worry is difficult to eliminate. Risk can be estimated or at least a guess made.

I think there is a small, but real chance of AA declaring bankruptcy by June. However, I think all the flights will be operating.

I think that most likely there will be no terrorism. I think that at the worst 9-11 type scenario, 10 AA planes will be shot down/blown up/or something else. The chance that your flight will be the one is probably less than 1:500,000 assuming that 10 planes will go down. Since it's purely speculation that 10 planes will go down and the chance of that happening is small, my wild guess that something will happen to you on the flight is less than 1:50,000,000.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 09:04 AM
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Of course, one could say "what is the risk that at least 5 Americans will be killed by terrorists within the next 12 months anywhere in the world" and I'd say there is a 98% of that happening.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 09:10 AM
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I've flown no one other carrier but American since 9/11 (don't have much choice since they monopolize my hub), and have not had a problem. I still feel that they are a safe airline.

You really do have to look at the odds and how many thousands of flights have been uneventful. I understand your concerns, though.

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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Derek: I have no idea whether your calculations are correct (I was an English lit major) but they sound good to me!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 10:05 AM
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I am not a religious fanatic my any means, but I beleive that when God calls me to him, I will go. When it's "my time", I will be on my way. Whether it's with a plane load of fellow passengers, or run over by a careless driver in the local Wal-Mart parking lot. Fears about flying are very normai, however, it's still the safest form of transportaion, even in these troubled times. Go and have a good time!! BTW, AA is great to fly overseas! Flew them Denver - Chicago -Rome last year and was very comfortable.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 10:26 AM
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Sera,

I've flown American several times since 9/11, and am planning to do so again to Italy in July, unless world events prevent us from going. I found that security seems much better out of JFK, and am hopeful that last November's crash has sharpened the focus on airplane maintenance and safety. I'm a nervous flier, too, but all in all I'd rather travel than stay home because I'm afraid of what may happen. I hope that you have a wonderful, non-eventful trip! Good luck!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 10:43 AM
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I too have been anxious. We just heard recently that LAX was on the top of the terrorist list when the gvt. upgraded the security alert to level orange. My mom and I are flying AA out of LAX to London at the end of March. Those three factors combined have made me feel a bit more vulnerable and have weighed on my mind in recent days. We are still going though, but I am a bit apprehensive too.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 11:39 AM
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To sera, my estimates are just guess, not absolute calculations. They are based on approximately 5,000 American and American Eagle flights per day. So in a year, that's about 2 million flights per year.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 11:47 AM
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I am in agreement with jimcolorado as far as "when my time is up". However, one can worsen their chances if they forfeit simple precautions such as wearing expensive watches in bad neighborhoods, driving without seat belts. For example, Princess Diana's bodyguard was the only survivor and also the only one who wore his seat belt. The others' times might not have been up if they wore them.

To littletraveler, AA's LAX-LHR flight might be hit, but why on the day you travel? Also why would that flight be picked and not the roughly 75 or so other flights to London from the US that day. There are also flights to Paris, Frankfurt, etc not counted in the above calculation. Relax! A risk exist, but I think it is manageable.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 11:51 AM
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First, may I thank everyone for skipping the "you're in more danger in a car" comparison! For those of us living in a post 9/11 world with anti-Americanism the dominant world theme, it's one of the most annoyingly irrelevant statistical comparisons.

Sera, I have flown more in the last 24 months than in any time earlier, but with less confidence and all kinds of "irrational" but timely worries, and I fly American a lot out of necessity.

One of the things I try to do, aside from figuring that the odds are with me and that terrorists usually try to do something different from before, is to turn the "odds" around: What if the same odds were applied to a situation in which you'd win $100 million in a lottery if you are on the "right" plane on the "right" day. Look around yourself in the terminal, look at all the planes taking off, think of how many days these planes have been taking off and landing -- you wouldn't really have a PRAYER of winning that lottery, so why should the reverse, a complete evil, be any more likely?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 12:19 PM
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The headaches of government and security are different, though. How do you protect every day, day in, day out, against a plane going down. It's a tough job. All those people and suitcases and at most only a few bad apples.

On 9-11, only 4 flights of the 20,000(?) flights a day were hit, but it was a huge catastrophe.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 12:46 PM
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Sera, Are you sure that is non-stop from JFK to Rome. I had never heard of American having that route. When I read your posting I checked the AA web-site and it said non-stop to Zurich and then Rome. I'm from New York and would love to fly non-stop to Rome on American because of the leg room. Double check it.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Ann, I also looked at the AA website, and I do find a couple flights through Zurich, which are co-share with Swiss, but there is also flight AA 166 from JFK to Rome, which certainly appears to be non-stop!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 01:22 PM
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<<Of course, one could say "what is the risk that at least 5 Americans will be killed by terrorists within the next 12 months anywhere in the world" and I'd say there is a 98% of that happening.>>

Based on the past 12 months' experience, the greatest risk of death by terrorist was from sniper fire, "at home".
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Go for it . that was last years tactic anyway. I look for the next attack to be in the food supply! Just kidding. If its a good fare fly it!
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