Last week, a Germanwings flight crashed into the French Alps, killing 144 passengers and 6 crew members (read more here). An airplane crash is bad enough. But an airplane crash where the incident was facilitated deliberately by the co-pilot and where the victims included exchange students and babies? Well, that resonates pretty loudly and makes me question when it’s time to travel, and when it’s time to just stay put.
How safe is travel?
As a traveler, you put your lives in the hands of airplane pilots, train conductors, bus drivers, taxi drivers and boat helmsmen every time you set out for another adventure. An adventure filled with excitement and moments that define for you what it means to live – not to die. While the odds of being killed on an airplane are significantly less than your odds of being struck by oncoming traffic as you cross the street for ice cream, it still seems like a big deal. You are boarding a machine that will fly you into the sky, during which time you have absolutely no control over whether you land or… not.
Prior to this disastrous event (any loss of human life can be classified as such), while I trembled at turbulence and shuddered during take-off and landing, it never occurred to me that my worst fears could be made a reality due to the complete lack of respect someone had for human life. Sure, terrorism is a real threat. But there are measures put in place to filter out the crazies and keep everyone who does board, safe for the duration of the flight (needless to say, as history will show, even the most scrupulous screenings can breed exceptions). But to have the person in charge of your safety deliberately crash the plane in total disrespect for human life, is, or was, completely unimaginable. If you can’t trust the person behind the controls, where are you to turn for comfort when you get a case of the cold-wings? Continue reading