- KLM apologised for a tweet from one of its verified regional accounts about where in a plane you are most likely to survive a crash.
- KLM India tweeted that “Seats at the back of a plane are the safest!” with an image of a seat in the clouds as part of a weekly trivia competition on Twitter that promises “exciting” prizes.
- The account then deleted the tweet, and said that it was sharing fact and did not mean to cause harm, while KLM said that it was reviewing its Twitter protocol.
- The US Federal Aviation Administration disputes the idea that the back of the plane is safer, saying that it is too hard to calculate because there are “too many variables” and so few crashes.
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Dutch airline KLM apologised after one of its verified regional Twitter accounts tweeted about where in a plane you are most likely to die in a crash.
The airline’s regional Twitter account in India tweeted on Wednesday that: “Seats at the back of a plane are the safest!”
The tweet cited a 2015 article by Time magazine, which looked at aircraft accidents over the previous 35 years and “found that the seats in the back third of the aircraft had a 32% fatality rate, compared with 39% in the middle third and 38% in the front third.”
KLM India’s tweet, which included a picture of a single aeroplane chair surrounded by blue sky and clouds, said: “According to data studies by Time, the fatality rate for seats in the middle of the plane is the highest. However, the fatality rate for the seats in the front is marginally lesser and is least for seats at the rear third of the plane.”
It also used the hashtags #TuesdayTrivia, #Aircraft, and #Facts.
The tweet has since been deleted, but you can see a screenshot of it here:
This it the tweet KLM India prudently decided to delete pic.twitter.com/yXUI1pz06b
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 17, 2019
KLM tweeted that the company “apologizes for any distress the tweet may have caused” and “will be reviewing our Twitter protocol to better ensure appropriate content.”
KLM India also apologised for the tweet on Wednesday, saying that it wasn’t sharing an opinion and did not want to hurt anyone.
“We would like to sincerely apologise for a recent update,” it tweeted.
“The post was based on a publicly available aviation fact, and isn’t a KLM opinion. It was never our intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. The post has since been deleted.”
We would like to sincerely apologise for a recent update. The post was based on a publically available aviation fact, and isn't a @KLM opinion. It was never our intention to hurt anyone's sentiments. The post has since been deleted.
— KLM India (@KLMIndia) July 17, 2019
The Washington Post said the tweet was deleted about 12 hours after it was posted, after the Post contacted the company.
However, a spokesperson for the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told the Post that these is no clear consensus on the complicated topic of what parts of a plane would be safest in a crash.
“Many people have tried and failed to produce a scientifically defensible answer to this question,” FAA communications manager Lynn Lunsford told the Post.
“There are too many variables, and this is the important one – so few accidents – that a simple answer is probably not statistically defensible.”
KLM India’s tweet was sent as part of the account’s weekly trivia game, where KLM India asks its followers questions about the aviation industry and gives prizes to winners from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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