Flying Safe? These Airlines Have Been Investigated for Safety

A Delta plane in flight

A Delta plane in flight | Delta via Facebook

Road trips spanning multiple states can be fun and exciting on their own, but if you’re looking to really get away to that tropical destination you’ve been dreaming of, then taking a flight is your only option. Even if you’re a comfortable, seasoned flyer who loves taking to the sky when you’re ready for your next adventure, you should always make sure you’re flying with a reputable airline. It might be tempting to purchase yourself a cheap flight with an airline you’ve never used before, but not so fast. You might want to take a closer look at whether or not your airline of choice has been lacking in the safety department.

A few airlines are notorious for their low safety ratings, which usually means deaths, injuries, and aircraft damage have occurred during times of operation. Allegiant Air found themselves in hot water due to a number of in-flight emergencies that happened in 2015 and a worrying amount of maintenance problems more recently, Travel Pulse explains. The Federal Aviation Administration has heavily scrutinized this small, low-cost airline for their hazardous planes and unsafe maintenance practices. Allegiant Air’s mechanics have even reported they delay their inspections and repairs to ensure the planes can stay in flight longer, allowing them to make more money. That’s not such good news for safety reasons, though.

Man looking at the airline schedules at an airport

Man looking at the airline schedules at an airport |

In June of 2015, the pilot of an Allegiant plane made the call to give the plane an emergency landing due to smoke in the cabin. The airline reportedly fired this pilot, as they deemed the emergency landing unnecessary, even though smoke in the cabin could have meant there was a fire. There have also been incidences of pressurization issues and hydraulic leaks — all while the planes were in flight.

Allegiant Air isn’t the only airline that you should steer clear from, either. Tara Air and Agni Air are two Nepal-based airlines notorious for their concerning safety practices. The Wall Street Journal says there have been a number of plane crashes in Nepal during the last five years because the planes are small, the mountains are difficult to navigate, and the weather can change super fast. Both airlines have received one-star safety ratings.

Most notably, in May 2012, a commuter plane crashed into a mountain, killing at least 15 people. There was another one that happened shortly before, which led to more than 100 fatalities. Both of these planes belonged to Agni Air, and they suspended their operations for the remainder of the year. Representatives from the airline said it was unfair to compare their small planes with larger ones, but we’ll let you decide if you want to go to Nepal anytime soon.

If you’re on a budget, there’s nothing better than scoring a cheap flight to a faraway destination, but if you’re headed east, be wary of AirAsia. Condé Nast Traveler says this budget airline has been under scrutiny ever since their flight from Surabaya to Singapore crashed, killing 162 people. This raised a number of red flags, and the airline’s Indonesian subsidiary was suspended from taking this route.


Flight attendant ensuring passenger safety | Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

This isn’t the only Indonesian airline that has taken a hit for safety, either — The Telegraph says that since 2001, over 40 air accidents have happened in Indonesia, many of which involved fatalities. Lion Air, another low-cost airline, has been involved in multiple crashes. Adam Air, another Indonesian airline, had multiple safety concerns even before its big crash in 2007. The airline has since shut down, but the plane that plummeted was identified as having problems even before taking off, says The New York Times. Adam Air also had a history of losing flights and other safety concerns prior to the 2007 crash. Overall, the death rate for flying in Indonesia is one per million passengers, which is 25 times the rate in the United States.

In less developed countries, there typically tends to be more oversight in terms of the safety and regulations of the planes. This could be why Libya-based airline Afriqiyah was under high scrutiny for their plane crash in 2010. The Daily Mail explains that as the plane was nearing the runway, it exploded and disintegrated, leaving only one passenger alive, a 10-year-old Dutch boy. This airline is not banned currently, though the EU has deemed nearly 300 of its planes not up to international standards for safe flying.

Other unsafe airlines that have only received one or zero stars out of a possible seven for safety from AirlineRatings are Batik Air, Blue Wing Airlines, Citilink, and Kalstar Aviation, among others from Nepal, Indonesia, and Suriname. If you’re looking to travel to these countries, then it’s of the utmost importance that you do your research before buying your plane ticket. There are many airlines that are known for taking proper safety precautions and ensuring your flight goes as smoothly as possible, so it may be best to spend a little extra cash and choose them instead.