Safest Seats on a Plane—Results From 35 Year FAA Study

Flying on an airplane can be exhilarating or the scariest thing you’ve ever done. For some travelers, the best seat is the cheapest. For others, the best seat on an airplane is the most comfortable. In reality, the cheapest airplane seat may be the safest.

Corresponding time magazineThe Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) conducted a 35-year study to determine the safest seat on an airplane in the event of an emergency landing or worse, a crash.

The FAA examined crash data and fatalities over a 35-year period from 1985 to 2020. The information proved that the least safe seats on an airplane are the seats in the middle of the airplane, on the wing. The center aisle seats are by far the most unsafe in the event of an accident. Think about accident photos and videos you’ve seen over the years. The middle of the plane is almost always where most of the damage and tragedy occurs.

FAA results – 44% fatality rate (medium seats)

April Hamm, screenshot

April Hamm, screenshot

The second most dangerous seats on an airplane are in the front third of the cabin. If you are flying on an aircraft that has a First Class section – seats in that section.

FAA Results – 38% Fatality Rate (Front Seats)

April Hamm, screenshot

April Hamm, screenshot

The best chance of surviving a plane crash can be the most uncomfortable and stinky one, since in most cases they are near a toilet. The FAA claims that the safest seats on an airplane, based on 35-year data, are the middle two seats at the far back of the cabin.

April Hamm, screenshot

April Hamm, screenshot

According to, another study recommends staying near an emergency exit.

Another University of Greenwich study also found that after an accident, those passengers who were closest to an emergency exit had the best chance of getting out alive.

Remember that you are more likely to die from food poisoning, falling off a ladder, drowning in the bath, or a car accident than from a plane crash. Aviation today is safer than ever.

Safe travels!

LET’S GO: America’s Favorite Historic Sites Safest Seats on a Plane—Results From 35 Year FAA Study

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