Some Travelers Avoiding Boeing Planes Amid Safety Concerns

Their no-fly zone is being established. NBC News reports that some passengers shun Boeing planes.

Boeing's recent issues, including the January 5 incident in which a door panel blew off an Alaska Airlines plane and reports that the company is lax about safety, have some potential flyers rebooking flights to avoid Boeing.

Flying-phobic persons especially. “I just can’t step on that plane,” said Hoboken art lawyer Leila Amineddoleh. "Even with all these incidents, the chance of getting hurt on a Boeing flight is slim."

That causes the airplane manufacturer, airlines, contractors, and others to lose money. Some passengers, like Amineddoleh, are choosing a non-Boeing jet for safety.

Which usually means switching to an Airbus-using airline, Boeing's major competitor. Even if it's more difficult and expensive.

It's a nuisance, she noted, especially because she and her husband are traveling with their small daughter. “I'm not going to feel guilty because her safety is more important than fatigue.”

It goes beyond the door panel. Boeing jets have had other issues, including a takeoff tire loss. Those difficulties have caused some people afraid to travel. Federal examination of Boeing's safety culture and a whistleblower's apparent suicide have raised concerns.

The good side is consumers are becoming more informed,” said Ed Pierson, executive director of the nonprofit Foundation for Aviation Safety and former Boeing 737 plant senior manager. “But here's the sad part: You shouldn't be dealing with this.

Kayak, which lets users include or exclude plane models from flight searches, said there has been a rise in aircraft research. Kayak CEO Steve Hafner said plane selection filter use is 10 times greater than in December.

Up to 40% of people have flight phobia. Amineddoleh thinks flight anxiety about Boeing will subside. "I really do hope things change at Boeing, in part because it makes my life easier," she said. “I always fly direct to Europe. I haven't in years."

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