Traveling can be tricky business and carries its own set of risks far beyond whether or not you will sit next to an ill person on a flight or have the whole row to yourself.
And with all the COVID-19 mandates, vaccination requirements, mask fines, and quarantine restrictions, you may never get a chance to book the “safest” flight if you want to keep even an ounce of your freedom.
In fact, the definition of “safety” has radically changed to accommodate our “new normal” – and just wait until you hear the reason why this airline has been deemed the safest airline in the world.
AirlineRatings.com has released their annual list of the “World’s Safest Airlines for 2022” and the number one spot has finally fallen from Australian airline Qantas after a near collision on a runway in Perth.
Who dropped Qantas down the list and took the crown in the competitive industry?
Air New Zealand, New Zealand’s flag carrier airline offering domestic and international flights to over 20 countries mainly within and around the pacific rim is proud to boast their new position.
Was it their exceptional flight record or ability to cater to all passengers that helped them fly to the top of the industry?
It was primarily their strict and oppressive response to COVID-19 that did it for the airline rating organization.
Travel and Leisure’s site editor noted how Air New Zealand grabbed the coveted spot as the World’s Safest Airline saying, “Air New Zealand is a stand-out airline with a firm focus on safety and its customers and over the past 18 months, COVID-19 has brought another new dimension to the challenges the industry faces.”
The “firm focus” the editor is discussing includes Air New Zealand being the first airline to require vaccination or negative COVID-19 testing to board their aircrafts.
They were also one of the first airlines to offer COVID-19 vaccines on a 787 aircraft in a frightening event called “jabaseat”, Proud American Traveler reports.
Beginning February 1, 2022, the airline will also require all international passengers to be vaccinated much like many other major airlines.
“The Air New Zealand promise is to take manaaki (care) further. To do that we have to take our approach to safety further. For us, it’s not about safety first – it’s about safety always. We want everyone to go home safely every day,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said in a statement as reported by Travel and Leisure.
The issue is many individuals don’t feel cared for when they are harassed about a vaccine they don’t feel comfortable with, or are forced to wear a mask despite a medical condition.
But rating an airline on their ability to push and persuade passengers to abide by government standards despite their beliefs or position must be part of the “new normal.”
The safety report was also rated on airline crash records, safety programs, and results of government and industry safety audits, according to the Airlinerating.com’s list; which included an audit of over 385 airlines.
Some other airlines who were noted for their excellence in airline safety are Etihad Airways at number two, Qatar Airways taking the number three spot, and Emirates closing the top 20 list.
United Airlines which is voted as the top safest airline for pets made it to the number 19 spot for their owners.
It’s unfortunate that travelers have to succumb to government standards in order to be given the best care or board the safest airlines.
…but that is where the travel industry is at right now.
Vacationing doesn’t have to be limited to taking a sub-par flight or giving into mandates that impede on your freedoms.
There is always active vacations that only require a sense of adventure and the open road!
Safety is important but looking further into what you find “safe” is also paramount in pursuing the best vacation of the new year.