By Idries Abdur-Rahman, M.D., FACOG


Okay, let’s start by acknowledging the fact that air travel is by far the safest form of public transportation. You are way more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident, on a boat or even riding a bicycle than you are on a plane. Heck, you are even more likely to die walking the streets as a pedestrian than you are to die in an airplane. So, no matter where you sit on your next flight you are pretty darn safe but if you want to absolutely maximize your chances of survival in case of a plane accident, here are some tips that will help you to choose your seat wisely.


In the back of the cabin

Yup, the back of the plane, aka the cheap seats, is where you will actually find the safest place in the sky. So, next time you are boarding your flight walking through first class with your head hanging low, keep your chin up because if the crap hits the fan, those folks sipping champaign in the front will be the first to go. Statistically speaking, the front of the plane is more likely to be impacted during an accident than the back so ipso facto, if you are sitting in the back your chances of survival are much better.


Near an emergency exit

This probably goes without saying but if you are involved in a survivable airplane accident, once the dust settles, the closer you are to an exit, the better. Another perk is that most seats at most emergency exits happen to have a ton of legroom. So next time you are reserving seats, be sure to ask for a seat in the emergency exit row.

Close to the flight attendants

Pay attention to where the flight attendants sit (aka the jump seat) during take-off and landing. Most jumpseats are located at the very front and very rear of the airplane cabin. As you might have guessed, if some stuff jumps off and you have to exit the plane in a hurry, the flight attendants will become your BFFs. Not only are they full of all sorts of good information but they’ll also know the quickest way out of the plane.

Choose an aisle seat

Now, I am a sucker for a window seat. I mean nothing beats the views from 35,000 feet but studies show that being in an aisle seat greatly improves your chances of survival. Simply put, being in an aisle seat allows you to evacuate the airplane faster.

Pay attention to the safety briefing

We are all guilty of ignoring the pre-flight safety briefing to do…well… anything other than actually watching the safety briefing. Sure, many of us think that we can recite the full briefing in our sleep but you would be surprised what flys (yes, pun intended) right out of your head during the adrenaline rush of an emergency. So take a minute or two and close your books, turn down your headsets and listen to that pre-flight safety briefing.


So, there you have it. Five tips to make your flight a little bit safer.

-Before you leave CHECK OUT these tips to make flying with young children actually enjoyable.

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About The Docs


Idris is the creation of twin OB/Gyn Doctors Jamil and Idries Abdur-Rahman. Jamil (Dr. J) and Idries (Dr. I) were inspired to start after participating on season 22 of CBS’ ‘The Amazing Race’.

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