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your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 23, 2007 11:30PM
I'm squeamish about flying in the first place, so flying on some of the smaller carriers, with smaller planes and less crew, does not sit well with me. What is your take on safety vs. the larger national carriers and pilot experience. It would be great to hear from pilots who may be familiar with the industry, but that might be expecting a bit much on a Mac forum.... Thanks.
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Re: your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 24, 2007 05:15AM
First they all have to meet the same safety standards.

Secondly, if the plan crashing all the extra crew will do is add to the body count.

Some would argue that the smaller line may even be safer, since like a good one off restaurant often outshines a chain - they have more personal pride. That goes from the pilot to the mechanic to the baggage handler. They aren't just an anonymous minion like and employee at American or Delta.

Finally, yes accidents happen but keep in mind that the last person that wants to crash is the pilot. He is at the part of the plane to hits first.

(think about it, how often is there a crash? how many flights do even the small carriers make a day? The odds are seriously in your favor)



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: spearmint
Date: June 24, 2007 07:26AM
If it means avoiding sickening lines and only two seats on each side I'd go for it. When have you last heard of an US airline tragedy in recent history? . There was that SW Airlines landing gear mishap the other week but everybody walked away. Your odds are better than on a crowded fast freeway.




Da Good Life
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Re: your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: DavidS
Date: June 24, 2007 08:00AM
The larger airlines seem to be using their smaller, regional jets for longer and longer flights these days. I know this is an issue with Delta, which uses Comair (based in Cincinnati) and ASA (Atlanta) and SkyWest (Salt Lake City).

My wife and son recently flew from Atlanta to Toledo on an ASA plane. Hardly a "regional" flight. The flight took about 30-45 minutes longer than if they had been in a standard Delta jet. The smaller seats and narrower seating configuration (2 on one side and 1 on the other), often makes it feel more cramped than a regular jet.

I don't know about increased safety concerns, you can probably find that data on the FAA website. If it were up to me, I'd prefer to fly a regular sized jet.
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Re: your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: June 24, 2007 08:40AM
I recently flew ASA Atlanta-Akron and back on regional jets. These were both Canadairs and had two seats per side. Although the seats weren't huge, they were comfy enough.
The aircraft in flight were functionally indistinguishable from mainline MD-80s: smooth and quiet in the very first two seats on the plane on the flight out and smooth and not so quiet in the very last two seats on the plane on the flight back.
The flight attendants on these flights were exceptionally nice, in fact they were the nicest ones I've ever experienced on any Delta or Delta-related flight.

The only other time I've flown a regional carrier was Horizon from Reno-Los Angeles on a Dash-8/400 turboprop. It was a much more comfortable plane than the Canadair jets, plus all-too-brief breaks in the clouds on that trip offered me fantastic views of the Sierra Nevadas from it's slightly lower cruising altitude.
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Re: your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: June 24, 2007 10:11AM
[rant]

ASA is the worst airline in the country. I used to live in a small town on the Florida panhandle, and I was on a first-name basis with the ASA guy who delivered late luggage from the local airport. Its nicknames are "Always Stuck in Atlanta" and "Absolutely S****y Airline," and both are well-deserved. ASA specializes in monopolizing smaller airports, charging outrageous fares to fly there, and crapping all over the customers who were forced to pay up big time for their flights. Delta had to step in and replace all of ASA's gate agents in the Atlanta airport thanks to their severe incompetence and lack of customer service skills (imagine being told by DELTA that you suck at customer service--the mind boggles). The general attitude of an ASA gate agent is, "You can make your flight or drop dead--it's all the same to us."

[/rant]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2007 10:33AM by Will Collier.
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Re: your opinion on smaller, regional airline carriers
Posted by: ADent
Date: June 25, 2007 03:33AM
They are safe. But if you think experience is good, remember that small jets have less of it.

If you want to see what a 1st year pilot makes on regional jets (and some props): [www.youtube.com]
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