How safe is flying?

Last week I was on a Delta flight from Ft Lauderdale to JFK.  It was an early morning flight, so I was ready to nap.   After a few issues at the gate, we were buttoned up and on our way to the runway, so far, mostly uneventful.

Just as we approach the runway, the passenger in 1C yells at the flight attendent "I don't wanna go".  The flight attendent asked the passenger why and he refused to state why, so the FA called the captain and told him the request.  We pulled aside for a few minutes while the captain squared things away.  At this point, the passenger now says "Oh, nevermind, just keep going".  The FA passed this latest update to the captain, but it was decided we were going back to the gate to offload the passenger in question.

Back to the gate we go, door opens, they pull the passenger off and talk to him for a bit.  The passenger walked off the plane with no bags and they asked him if he had any bags, to which he responded no.   But that was it.  They shut the door and off we went.  While I understand for checked bags they can look at the itinerary, they can't do that for carry on bags.  They made no attempt to confirm that all the bags in the overhead were indeed claimed by the people still on board.

The whole situation got me thinking and making me ask, how safe are we.   We all know there are gaps in the security infrastructure and that the TSA has been known to miss questionable items.  While this particular incident ended up with no malicious act, it does build some awareness as to how there are some major gaps in the procedures that are followed.


I agree with Chris on this one. Yeah there may be lapses in security and other occasional issues but flying is still one of the safest modes of transportation. Should this issue be addressed? Absolutely. But should this cause the public to fear flying? Absolutely not.