Airline tragedies are gut-wrenching and horrible. The loss of so many lives at once is incomprehensible. The Germanwings crash is just another reminder that nothing in life is certain.
Passengers board airplanes all across the globe every day all in hopes of landing safely at their next destinations.
Uncertainty sets in when news breaks of airline crashes, airplane malfunctions and other airplane-related maladies. The uncertainty is what drives fear and fear can provoke a complete end to something.
After September 11, 2001, airlines were losing a large chunk of business because passengers were so afraid to fly.
It would take a while for airlines to rebound, but airline tragedies, especially acts of terror/homicide/suicide, often overshadow the need for airline travel.
Within the past year and a half, we've had two Malaysian Airlines flights go missing, one remaining a complete mystery. Planes skid off runways, necessitating emergency landings.
How do the airlines fight the fear and uncertainty consumers have in order to maintain profitability?
The worst part about it all, especially after the Germanwings tragedy, is the media and public have begun speculating and reporting on the cause and reasoning behind why the plane crashed and created hysteria.
The hysteria then gets regurgitated by every news outlet and repeated in 30-minute intervals on news networks.
The problem today is information is so easily accessible, it allows for the flow to be distributed vastly and then distorted and twisted.
Instead of talking about the loss of innocent lives and the tragedy that occurred, the conversation is about either the perpetrators of the act of terror/murder or why the airlines didn't do a better job preventing the incident from happening at all.
People go on Reddit and other Internet message boards and start compiling conspiracy theories and other nonsensical conversations in regards to the incident, then websites and blogs pick up on one of them, then that one topic is picked up nationally, and next thing you know, some crazy man's theory, which he created in the basement of his parents' house, found its way to the airwaves.
We should be asking ourselves, "How do the families of the victims feel?"
We should be asking, "What is happening for the families of the victims to help them cope?" We should focus on telling the narrative of the passengers who perished too soon.
We've grown accustomed to discounting the victims and tossing them aside when all we want to know is why the plane crashed in the first place.
The airlines need to be proactive about their inadequate business practices, from faulty airplanes to hiring practices.
Too often, these things are overshadowed and the airlines end up settling out of court with the victims' families for an undisclosed sum of money, all in hopes of keeping them quiet.
They should be held accountable in the public eye and forced to re-evaluate their organizations.
Airline safety has definitely increased since 9/11, but it still has a long way to go. Airlines must constantly review their hiring practices and re-evaluate their staff and look into their personal lives.
There also needs to be an independent organization that comes up with a clear-cut industry standard for evaluating all airplanes and any airline who does not meet standards should face criminal negligence charges.
Like we say about many tragedies, it should never happen again, but too often, we hear about airplanes just falling out of the sky and disappearing or killing hundreds — sometimes thousands.
Enough is enough. When we say safe travels to our friends and families, it should mean something.