Men inspecting an airplane 2009 has not been a great year for air travel anywhere in the world.  Too often the headlines told of tragic accidents and not enough miracles.  This news is surely weighing on millions of global citizens booking flights for their holiday visits and vacations.

We’ve offered perspective on travel associated risks in the past and the Book of Odds reminds us that the likelihood of being involved in any plane accident, let alone a fatal one, is extremely low.  However, the events of this year have even the most reasonable people wondering if there is something they should know before choosing their air carrier.

For those people, the Wall Street Journal recently published the results of the aviation safety reports published by the European Union (EU) and by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The data collection and evaluation processes are very different for each of these organizations. For instance the EU rates the safety of individual airlines, while the FAA evaluates countries as a whole. Overall, both reports take into account the history of accidents, policies and procedures, equipment and maintenance, but their criteria in each of these areas differ.

So if you want to feel like you have a little more control of your destiny, check the reports and book your flights accordingly. The Encyclopedia Britannica Blog reports, “airline safety declining, but still good.”  But it’s statistics like these that lead to the safety improvements necessary to create a safer product for everyone.  Remember that as you book your next trip.  By the way, if you happen to be planning a flight on British Airways for the holiday, you might want to monitor the status of the rumored strike set to take place December 22nd.


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