People were, understandably, a bit rattled by the fact that an airline – a company that should probably be spending its time and social media influence making us feel safer about air travel – was sort of joking about how to survive a crash.
Though the information was presumably good and anchored in fact, KLM India has since apologized for their abortive attempt at gallows humor.
“The post was based on a publicly available aviation fact, and isn’t a @KLM opinion. It was never our intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments.”
The original post, since deleted, quoted information from a TIME magazine investigation done in 2015, which stated that survival rates differ slightly depending on where a person is seated, and that the “seats at the back are the safest!”
Statistics from the FAA confirm that fatality rates at the rear of the plane are 32%, compared with 39% in the middle and 38% at the front, but with so few plane crashes to draw data from (thank goodness), it’s likely that the numbers are skewed.
Their tweet also didn’t mention that the magazine article included this quote:
“We found that survival was random in several accidents – those who perished were scattered irregularly between survivors. It’s for this reason that the FAA and other airline safety experts say there is no safest seat on the plane.”
Also, you’re statistically more likely to die on the way to the airport than on the flight – chances of being in a plane crash are around 1 in 1.2 million, and chances of dying in the incident are 1 in 11 million.
Yet you risk a 1 in 5000 chance of death every time you get behind the wheel of your car.
All of which has nothing to do with the ill-advised tweet. There’s no statistics on the likelihood of social media managers making poor choices.