ExXB, I may not have understood your post correctly, so I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but there are plenty of unsafe airlines in my book. I certainly have a personal black list of airlines I won't fly with for a variety of reasons. Of course I realise that even the "safer" ones offer no guarantee but let's just say that I try and avoid stacking the odds against me.
As for aircraft types, the A380 developing cracks so early in its career hasn't impressed me too much. I will also be waiting a while before stepping on an B787. I wouldn't think twice about stepping aboard a DC-3 though. Crazy eh?!
That's why I used inverted commas, because nothing is, or will ever be, 100%safe. However, a lot more comes into the equation such as maintenance standards, type of training, culture, etc. I'm not blind to the fact that an accident can happen to any airline, but generally there are some airlines in some parts of the world more prone than others.
I used to have a phobia about heights. One day I was driving to LHR to get on a flight to Cape Town and there was a discussion on the radio about phobias. Basically teh guy said that the problem people have with a phobia is that whatever scares them they tell themself will not happen i.e. if you are scared of flying you tell yourself "it is OK, the plane will not crash". But you are putting negative thoughts in your head. So instead you should think positive e.g. "well I am going to be at 36,000 feet, I will ge ta beautiful view of the World, the sun will be shining " etc etc
two days later I was in CPT at the bottom of Table Mountain, the rest of the group were getting the cable car up, I said I would walk!!! Then I thought about the programme and said "what the heck, I will love it, I will get a great view of CPT, views of the harbour" and so on. Even when it started rotating and i was next to an open window I loved it, and I have never looked back. I have even been on a cable car evacuated from a mountain due to a storm and high winds. I was sat next to the door.....and it did not close, I was left looking out over a huge drop. And I was leaning out and didnt have a problem!!
So in summary to the OP. Book your flight on whatever carrier (you can check out safety records) and start looking forward to it. Flying is a wonderful experience.
As with anything in life, nothing is 100% safe. You have a much higher chance of being killed in an auto accident than a plane accident. Your lifetime chance of dying in an airplane accident is 1 in 20,000. For an auto accident it's 1 in 100.
Among the other things you might die of before dying in an airplane accident are:
Drowning, eletrocution, fire or smoke, falling down, suicide, stroke, cancer and heart disease.
Think of all the things you canít die from while flying. Road traffic accident Drowning in the bath Electrocution Caught in an avalanche Eaten by a shark Heart attack during sex (well, I suppose you could) Falling down stairs Hang on, the A380 has stairs...
Every aircraft type that's permitted to fly is only permitted to operate for civil air transport because it is safe. In other words its design, materials and performance have been tested exhaustively, including submitting it to extremes that it will never go anywhere near in normal service. So you can rest easy on that point.
What causes accidents, in aviation as in anything else, is human error. The aviation industry, through the operation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation since the end of WWII, has done 20 times as much as any other industry where human error kills people, such as railways, ferry operators, bus operators and doctors, to eliminate the risk of human error by a combination of regulated and high quality training, very detailed operating regulations, and intense regulatory oversight backed by law.
It is only in the aviation industry, in Europe at least (and I'm sure in most other well-developed, mature countries) that a Chief Executive is nominated as "The Accountable Manager" who is personally responsible for the safety of the organisation. The word Accountable means what it says. Prison looms for the Accountable Manager if people are harmed due to lack of proper safety management, and rightly so.
(Unlike, say, the rail industry in the UK, where when people are killed because the Company's Directors are totally incompetent and unfit, people lower down the chain get blamed while the said "Directors", including the CEO or whatever, negotiate their next bonus.)
This is why, statistically, air travel is the safest form of transport where millions of people board an aircraft every day round the world without a thought for safety. And millions arrive just as they expect to without any upset. Like lots of people in this forum, apart from aircrew whose job is to fly, I do that 2-3 times a month and have done so, all over the world, since 1969. Each flight is 1,000 times more safe than the surface journey that follows it to the hotel or back to home.
So the answer to your question is that of course the A380 is safe; it would be grounded if there were the tiniest smidgen of doubt about that. And the airlines which operate it are some of the world's leaders in training, quality management and safety management.
Enjoy your flight. But plan your seat location, if you can, to be at the front of the Immigration queue.
TV, I think you would struggle to find any commercial airline to be 'know to be unsafe'.
By 'known to be unsafe' I meant countries, rather than carriers, that have signficantly higher hull loss rates than average, for example Nigeria, Nepal. Cubana (Crashes Regularly Before Arriving at Next Airport) used to be considered unsafe with a well above average FATAC rate, and the one that had Accidents Expected Regularly On F* Lethal Old Tupolevs was another. Both have cleaned up their acts significantly.
As for Air France, the main thing that puts me off flying with them is having to transit CDG.
Rough numbers, but if you fly with a reputable airline you have about a 1 in 3 million chance of being on a plane that crashes, and a better than 50% chance of surviving the crash.
So your fear, however real, is irrational.
As to aircraft type, there is no reason to believe the A-380 will not be as safe as other types but it does not have much of a service record yet. So if you are really paranoid you would avoid it - and the 787 Dreamliner too.
The A380 is really ugly to look at - my theory is they knew it would be hard to fill, so built a little one first. The stretch version will look fine.
Just out of interest, why do people respond to these threads in any other way than suggesting the OP look at the innumerable FAQ's on the subject? There is no way that anything new written here will magically "cure" fear of flying for someone. Perhaps posters are trying to assuage their own fears...
Hallo Pikabo. I have the utmost sympathy with you. However, and I do mean this kindly - to misquote Jackson Browne - 'Your problem is you.' Flying, statistically, is one of the safest forms of transport and the A380 is a tried and tested aircraft. If you are travelling alone, express you fears quietly to the person next to you and you should find that you will have a sympathetic ear for the duration of your flight. The vast number of people I sit next to when flying do not like flying and do not want to be there, and there's nothing quite like a friendly chat to ease your fears and give you a good flight.
I hope all goes well for you and that you have a good flight home.
Thank you all for great answers! I got some great techniques I will definetely use during my next flight. I forgot to mention; I never listen to my fear of flying, so it does not stop me from flying wherever I want to go. I just get myself together and have a terrible experience. But as was said earlier; it helps to know more about flying! So thank you!
I see alot of you dont like the look of the A380, I must say I disagree. I think it looks great, and I hope they keep it in business. Hopefully it can also help reduce the amount of gas per passenger, thus helping the environment. Why do you hate the A380 so much?
Pikabo - as I've said on this board before, you may find a lot of your anxiety relieved if you take a few flying lessons yourself and learn what flying really feels like, how an airplane works and gain some sense of control. That was not my intention when I learned to fly, but I found it made me feel a lot better about flying commercially.