News

A brand new passenger plane belonging to Indonesia’s budget airline Lion Air and carrying 189 people crashed off the coast of Jakarta this week. All 189 passengers were killed.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 should have been a safe plane to fly in. I wouldn’t have hesitated to book my family onto this flight and yet that would have the worst decision of my life.. as it was for the poor 189 people plus the pilots and air stewards onboard.

But why did it happen? Nobody knows yet. The plane’s black boxes have apparently been found which should help to explain why the almost-new jet went down minutes after take-off.

But we do have some clues. Reports have emerged the same plane had technical difficulties the night before to those experienced just hours before it crashed. These difficulties were related to “unreliable” airspeed indicators, on a flight from Bali to Jakarta.

The Guardian reports that the same plane had a separate technical issue a few days earlier, on a flight from Manado to Denpasar.

For the families with loved ones on board, they now have grief infused with confusion (as only four of the passengers have been identified so far), infused with anger. If the plane from Bali already had a problem, why did it fly?

The transport ministry is currently inspecting 10 of the newly released jets owned by Lion and flagship carrier Garuda. It has said it had found “minor” faults in two other Boeing 737 Max jets:
A cockpit indicator display problem which an analyst said may be similar to one reported in the crashed jet.
Secondly, there was a glitch in a jet stabilisation system of the plane.

Should We be frightened?

Yes and no. Flying is a comparatively safe way to travel so as long as you are careful you should be fine.

I would recommend only to board airlines with a good safety ranking. I would not fly one of the carriers listed on the European Union’s blacklist. Always inform yourself about the safety reputation of the airline on the website Airline Ratings. Also, it is worth noting that European airlines are subject to EU safety checks which are excellent. The same goes for American carriers and Amercian safety checks. With this in mind, I am most happy flying on European or American carriers.

I know it is probably irrational, but until the transport ministry and Boeing have rectified these two faults, I will also be avoiding fly Boeing 737 Max jets. These are flown by a number of airlines including FlyDubai, Garuda, Southwest Airlines, Air Canada and American Airlines. you may want to check your flight details and amend your plans accordingly if you are an uneasy flyer. There is no point in getting yourself in a panic once you are in the sky!

This crash will in no way impact the many flights that I book on British Airways using the Avios I earn with my FREE Amex Gold Card. I consider British Airways to be as safe as flying gets. If you are US based you can find out about a brilliant way to load up on a massive bonus of airline miles in this easy guide.

If you feel confident enough to fly and are planning to book a First or Business Class flight or a luxury hotel, please do not hesitate to contact our luxury travel concierge to get a quote before booking. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, deals and special benefits.

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Reviews within this content are solely the opinion of the author and have not been sponsored, influenced, or reviewed by American Express.