BY the time you read this, I will have completed a 3500-mile round trip to Murcia in Spain.
And quite possibly having done so fretting at having chosen seats 11B and 11C solely for their proximity to an over-wing exit.
According to research for a new Channel 4 documentary, Plane Crash, to be screened next month, I needn't have bothered. A simulated crash using test dummies found that statistically the safest place to sit on an aircraft is at the back.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not normally what you would call a nervous flier. I even considered becoming an airline pilot (having sailed through the early selection process, my mathematical skills woefully let me down – apparently the difference between double and half is *fairly* important when calculating the amount of fuel required).
This, though, puts a whole new slant on things. Many airlines are doing a roaring trade by getting passengers to shell out a king's ransom to sit in an exit row with the promise of extra leg-room.
Will the demand now be for a "safe" seat in the back row? For the equivalent of a monthly mortgage payment (but what price can you put on safety?), you could guarantee a coveted pew entrenched in the heady competing scents of overflowing toilets and whatever chicken or beef dish the flight attendants are heating in the galley.
Not to forget the added bonus of the backsides of all 200 fellow passengers hovering inches from your face as they queue for the loo. It is a marketing man's dream.
Then again, you could follow the lead of US aeronautics professor, John Hansman, who claims the odds against crashing are so great, that he would still sit in first class if he could.
Glass of bubbly in hand or a seat that doesn't fully recline? I know what I would chose. And at least I'd go out in style.
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