Every time there's a mishap, problem, disaster, or close-call with a flight, I'm inevitably asked something along the lines of "You fly a lot... don't you worry about this happening to you?"
To which I always answer "No. Not even a little bit."
And every time I say it, I realize that people must think I'm lying... or dismissing them... or saying whatever I have to say to convince myself that I'm invincible. But I'm really not. And this is why...
That's a FlightRadar24 map of all the commercial planes in the air right now. Thousands of them. And here's a close-up look at what's flying over the mainland US alone...
That's pretty much going on all day long, though things shift a bit as some parts of the world go to sleep and other parts wake up. With this kind of traffic in the air 24/7, it's easy to see how flying truly IS one of the safest activities you can do. My drive to the airport is a far, far more dangerous journey than my upcoming flight to Europe.
And so no, I don't worry about flying.
Not even a little bit.
If it happens, it happens. But the odds are so mind-bogglingly low that it's just not worth fretting over.
Getting trapped in a middle-seat between a smelly person and a crying baby however?
My deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370.