October 4, 2006 in Business

Confidence grows in air travel

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

A Continental Airlines jet rests with its front wheels dug into the ground after a mishap last month at the El Paso International Airport.
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON — Public confidence in the safety of air travel in this country is growing, though many people still harbor doubts.

In what may be some good news for the travel industry, the 43 percent who say in an AP-AOL travel poll that plane flights are very safe is somewhat higher than other surveys taken since the 9/11 attacks. As recently as this summer, the highest satisfaction levels with air safety were recorded in the 30s.

Men are twice as likely as women to feel very confident about air travel, according to the new poll, which was taken just over five years after terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

When traveling, “you just get on the plane, but it’s hard not to think about it,” said Casey McFadden, a young mother from Highland Heights, Ky. “Before 9/11, you just had to worry about crashing, but now you wonder who’s sitting beside you.”

More than half, 55 percent, expressed some concerns about air travel safety — 42 percent said flying is somewhat safe, 8 percent said not too safe and 5 percent said it was not safe at all.

About a third of respondents said the rules about what can be taken onto planes are confusing, according to the poll of 1,000 adults taken by the polling firm Ipsos Sept. 26-28.

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