Passengers Trust Pilots With Midwestern Accents The Most, Study Finds

By Mitti Hicks


A major in aeronautical engineering, ground training, and more than 1,500 hours of flight experience might not be enough for commercial airline pilots these days. Now, they might need the voice for it too.


A new study of Americans’ travel habits found that passengers trust pilots with Midwestern accents the most.


The study was conducted by Jetcost, a site that compares low-cost flights and travel data.

Out of more than 4,200 U.S. travelers surveyed, the study found that 54% of respondents said a pilot’s accent impacted their confidence in his or her ability, the Los Angeles Times reported.


According to the survey, 63% of respondents said that pilots with the Upper Midwestern accent are trusted the most, while 58% of participants said the same for pilots with a Southern California accent.


Other accents that drew the most confidence from passengers include:


The Great Lakes Region – 51%
British Accents – 47%
Eastern New England Accents  – 39%


So who do passengers trust the least?


The pilots who say “y’all, we’re fixin’ to take off,” are who passengers have the least amount of confidence in.


According to the survey, sixty-five percent of those surveyed said that pilots with a Texan accent would give them the least amount of confidence, while 59% of respondents said the same for pilots with a New York accent.


The other accents that passengers have the least confidence in pilots are:


General American – 54%
Central Canadian – 45 %
Southwestern U.S. – 37%


While most passengers find that pilots who talk like they’re from the middle of the country and the West Coast are the best for the job, the truth is that flying is still safer than driving, in general.


Data from the Association for Safe International Road Travel revealed that nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year.  That’s an average of 3,287 deaths a day.


Comparing that to commercial air travel, statistics from the Dutch aviation consultants To70 found that commercial passenger jets see just one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.

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Mitti Hicks

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