The '80s satirical disaster film "Airplane!" is not so far off from the reality of travel in 2019: coffee pots caught fire, grown men fought over window shades, and a passenger took issue with authority when his right to carry a pet opossum was questioned, to name a few. Unfortunately, there have been some reports of crashes amid these silly news stories and, while they are few, they remain in some travelers' awareness like an ear that can't be popped.
That's why the airline safety and product review website AirlineRatings.com has put in the work to figure out which airlines -- of the 405 monitored annually -- are the safest to fly with. The report was released on Thursday and includes the top 20 safest airlines for the coming year, as well as the 10 safest low-cost airlines.
"In making its evaluation of the safest airlines in the world," the report opens with, "AirlineRatings.com takes into account a comprehensive range of factors that include: audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies, government audits, airline’s crash and serious incident record, profitability, industry-leading safety initiatives, and fleet age."
First off, the US-based airlines didn't fare well, with just two airlines in the top 20. Even the cult-followed Southwest, which is so beloved in the States that people practically sacrifice their firstborn children at sacred terminal rituals, didn't make the top tier.
Here are the top 20 safest airlines:
2: Air New Zealand
3: EVA Air
4: Etihad Airways
5: Qatar Airways
6: Singapore Airlines
8: Alaska Airlines
9: Cathay Pacific
10: Virgin Australia
11: Hawaiian Airlines
12: Virgin Atlantic
13: TAP Air Portugal
15: Royal Jordanian
19: Aer Lingus
"Qantas was the lead airline with real-time monitoring of its engines across its fleet using satellite communications," the report explains, "which has enabled the airline to detect problems before they become a major safety issue."
Meanwhile, passengers are filming flames shooting out of United Airline's plane engines... But it's not all bad, friends. Check out the list of safest low-cost airlines, in alphabetical order: Air Arabia, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, IndiGo, JetBlue, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet, and Wizz.
And, honestly, Thrillist is that friend who goes on Reddit too often and knows a bit too many disaster stories about all the activities you love. Flights are actually incredibly safe -- your chances of dying in a car crash are 1 in 5,000, whereas the likelihood that you’ll die in a plane crash is 1 in 11 million. If you're still freaked out, feel free to check out our tips for getting over your fear of flying and blissing out on a flight. But, given that US airlines aren't looking so hot right now, you may want to skip the "mental shift approach" of accepting that death is inevitable.