Hi Capt Lim,
I am planning a trip with my family to Israel. Do you think flights coming in and out of Israel are any less safe and more susceptible to in air or surface-to-air terrorism?
Since 9/11, my husband and I have been terrified of flying and we haven*t gone anywhere. I read with great interest your articles on airline safety. Are long flights likely to be more accident prone than shorter flights? Or are they the same since the real danger is in take off and landing?
According to the statistics quoted in Dan Mckinnon*s Safe Air Travel, the odds of being a victim of a terrorist attack or hijacking are about one in eleven million. Perhaps it is a bit too remote, but still, if it worries you, think about this: crossing the street is at least ten times more risky! This reminds me of an accident a few weeks ago - a molding block dropped from an overhead building under construction instantly killed a prominent executive who was being chauferred from his office in a BMW. So, one can never tell when a misfortune can happen.
If you are terrified of flying because of terrorism, then you have missed out many things in life. Terrorism is just one more risk of traveling you can*t completely control. There are no absolute guarantees against being involved in any air terrorism. Similarly, there are no absolute guarantees of not being killed, for example, by a brick dropping down from a construction building, falling out of a ladder, slipping in a bathtub or struck by lightning.
Well, you have at least two choices: Forget about flying completely and stay at home forever or accept the fact that there is a potential risk in everything we do in life, and learn how to deal with this problem. There are three areas that you must develop in getting over your constant fear of air travel and air terrorism. Firstly, you need to acquire more knowledge, then, know how to consciously practice relaxation exercises; finally, be more exposed to air travel.
I would like to further add that, just because Israel is in the midst of security threat, one would expect a lot of air terrorism activities in the country. On the contrary, there have not been any major hijackings on any Israeli airlines in the recent years. This was mainly due to higher vigilance by their security and it appears that all their commercial planes have sky marshals on board.
Are long flights likely to be more accident prone than shorter flights? Please read an almost similar previous FAQ "Are short-distance trips more dangerous than longer ones?"
Wish you and your family a safe flight!