Why You May Want To Consider Booking A Seat In The Back On The Airplane

It may sometimes not seem like it, but air travel is safer now more than ever. In fact, it's considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation — even safer than riding a land vehicle. "Accidents are rare in aviation. There were five fatal accidents among 32.2 million flights in 2022," Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), noted in a statement. "That tells us that flying is among the safest activities in which a person can engage."

Still, situating yourself in a hunk of metal thousands of feet up in the sky can make you feel uneasy, especially if you have a general fear of heights. And so for your peace of mind, you may be inclined to book the seat that is considered the "safest," and surprisingly, it can't be found in the business class section. The safest seats in an aircraft are apparently in coach.

What's more, according to flight attendants and aviation experts, if you want to sit on the statistically safest seat, book one on the back of the plane. Sure, it may mean that you'll get off much later than everyone else once it lands, but it can help calm your nerves knowing that it's a safer area.

The seats in the back are considered the safest according to statistics

Plane crashes are unlike to happen now, but Alison Duquette, a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration, told HuffPost that each incident is different, and therefore, "there is no safest seat." However, if you look at the numbers, some sections of the plane are less impacted than others in the event of an accident. For instance, a 2007 Popular Mechanics analysis on commercial jet crashes in the USA found that those seated in the rear were more likely to survive than those seated in the front. Seven of the 11 crashes analyzed had more survivors who were in the back of the plane than in the front of the wing.

Of course, these results do not indicate that you have lower chances of survival if you want to sit nearer the cockpit, but it is an essential tidbit to keep in mind. What's more, Caroline Kneitz, a flight attendant working for Emirates, noted that the back of the plane, particularly the left-hand side, is what they were instructed as the "safest" area in an aircraft. "We were taught as cabin crew that this area provides the least risk in the event of an explosion or crash," she told Daily Mail.

The middle rear seats are found to be safe, too

Want more safe seat options? A study on aircraft crashes conducted by Time further confirmed that those in the back fare better than those in the front. More specifically, it turns out the middle seats in the back of the plane have the lowest fatality rate at 28% compared to the 44% fatality rate for the aisle seats in the middle of the aircraft.

However, if you're afraid of turbulence and want the flight to feel as smooth as possible, the front seats of the cabin are your best bet. In a TikTok video posted by airline pilot Jimmy Nicholson, he explained that "if you sit in front of the aircraft, you are going to experience less turbulence. If you're in the back, it's going to be a bit more bumpy." This means that even though the back is considered safer, it may not always feel like so.

Generally, though, you shouldn't have to worry much about your safety. Why? Even pilots aren't bothered. "Remember, the aircraft is not going to fall out of the sky. You're all good. It's just an annoying thing [turbulence]. But hopefully it will only last for a matter of minutes," Nicholson added.