How to protect your holiday weekend from travel-related threats
A growing body of research suggests that some travelers are avoiding flights, even though a new study shows that some may be more likely to travel if they know the threat they face.
That’s because travelers may be less likely to take a flight if they’re not sure whether a potential attack might occur.
A recent report in the journal Transportation Research Part F (TRF) found that travelers were more likely if they had already flown on other flights than if they were unsure.
The researchers used data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Transportation Safety Board to examine the probability of an incident occurring on an airplane.
The report shows that of the 8,527 reported incidents of an air traveler being injured or killed in a terrorist attack, 5,634 (57%) were the result of someone not checking for security at a checkpoint.
That is, passengers were less likely than others to check to make sure there wasn’t a terrorist threat at a certain airport or airport that had been closed.
The rest (5,964 (60%) were simply due to not knowing whether or not the airport was closed.
When the researchers examined the risk of an airline crashing into a building, they found that the average risk was 0.7% for every 100 passengers who checked into a non-federal aircraft, or approximately one passenger every 30 seconds.
“The reason we are looking at this is because the data show that a lot of the time, passengers are less likely not to check for security if they are not sure if they will be able to board their flight,” says Andrew Gannon, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the report’s lead author.
“This suggests that we should be looking at these factors when planning travel, especially if we are traveling with a family member or loved one.”
Gannon says that a common mistake is to assume that passengers will be more vigilant than they really are.
“People who fly frequently often assume that if they see something that makes them feel unsafe, they’ll get up and check it out,” he says.
“But that’s not the case.”
Gannen says that while people should be careful about traveling when they’re in an area with an active threat, they should be cautious when it comes to travel from certain regions.
The National Airspace Protection Strategy is part of a broader effort to improve air safety, and a number of new measures have been put in place since last year.
These include the implementation of “red-tape” checkpoints and a series of rules designed to help airlines better monitor passengers and make sure they can check-in without being harassed.
But Gannon thinks that travelers should still be careful to avoid areas that have experienced recent incidents.
“I think it is a good idea to check-out in airports, but I would also advise passengers to check out in cities that have been hit by terrorism,” he explains.
“In cities where there is a lot more crime, you might be safer if you travel to a place that has less crime.”
In addition, he says that if you’re flying into the U, it’s a good time to look for a way to make your way home.
“It’s also a good place to check in to get some rest if you are going to be out of the country for some time,” he adds.
Gannon adds that while there is no single solution for preventing terrorist attacks, he is hopeful that the federal government will continue to improve the air safety of the entire country.
“Hopefully, there is going to come a time where people are going for this [improved security] and they are going after it as aggressively as they can,” he concludes.
“That’s what we all want.
But if we can’t get this done, we will continue looking for ways to protect ourselves.”
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