12 Deadly United States Airplane Crashes Changed Aviation History Forever

The chance of a passenger dying in an airplane wreck is 1 in 11 million. A fatal accident only occurs once in every 2 million flights across all sizes of aircraft. Commercial planes can fly with only one engine and a skilled pilot can land them even if no engines are working. Even with all the safety measures, 12 deadly flights in the United States have greatly increased the safety of airplanes. Whenever a plane fails in the United States, the National Transportation Safety Administration makes a detailed determination of the cause, and that information is used to make airplanes even safer.

Mechanical Failure

Air Canada 797 was flying at 33,000 feet on June 2, 1983, when smoke was reported coming from the plane’s lavatory. While the pilot managed to land the plane safely in Cincinnati, Ohio, when the emergency doors were opened, a flash fire occurred killing 23 people. Planes must now have smoke detectors and automatic fire-retardant systems. Additionally, more flame-resistant materials are used in the interior of planes and they now have emergency lighting.

On September 8, 1994, USAir Flight 427 crashed as it approached its landing at Palm Beach International Airport. It took five years for the National Transportation Safety Administration to determine that a faulty rudder was to blame; Boeing ultimately replaced the rudders on all of this style of plane. Furthermore, Congress passed a law so that the National Transportation Safety Administration could help victim’s families.

It took the deadly crash of ValuJet Flight 592 on May 11, 1986, before Congress passed laws that smoke detectors were required in the cargo area of all passenger airplanes. Unfortunately, the crash killed 110 people.

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 literally blew up shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy Airport. While there were 230 people killed, the government finally concluded that it was a spark that started a fire in the center fuel tank. All planes have since been rewired and natural gas is now put in fuel tanks to reduce the likelihood of fires.

Fire-resistant insulation was retrofitted into about 700 McDonnell Douglas Jets after the crash of Swissair Flight 111 on September 2, 1998. The new insulation was designed so that planes would burn slower giving pilots more reaction time.

Human Failure

On June 30, 1956, TWA Flight 2 and United Airlines Flight 718 ran together above the Grand Canyon killing all 128 passengers aboard both flights, but the result was the creation of the Federal Aviation Agency two years later.

Just three days after Christmas in 1978, a captain flying United Flight 173 refused to listen to his crew who tried to warn him that they were running out of fuel. While the plane crashed killing 10, it changed policies inside the cockpit so that all crew members have equal power.

On August 31, 1986, a small aircraft ran into Aeromexico DC-9 above the Los Angeles airport killing 82 people, but the result was that all small aircraft flying above major airports must have a transponder.

On July 19, 1989, United Flight 232 the back engine fell off the plane severing the hydraulic line. The plane crashed killing 111 aboard. The result, however, was that a crack in the fan caused the wreck and it should have been detected by mechanics on the ground. The way that engine inspections before takeoff were changed along with increased redundant safety equipment installed on planes.


On August 2, 1985, Delta Flight 191 was on its final approach to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when it was caught in wind turbulence causing the plane to crash killing 134 people aboard and more on the ground. After an extensive investigation, wind shear warnings were installed in all airplanes along with colored radar that was easier for pilots to see.

On June 1, 2009, Air France 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean during a severe thunderstorm. Investigators later determined that frozen pitot tubes were causing the pilot to receive false information. Pilots were retrained to fly the airplane regardless of what the instrument panels were telling them.

No one knows what brought down Malaysia Flight 370 on March 8, 2014. In fact, no one is sure where the plane crashed because no mayday was ever heard from the plane. Despite the fact that millions have been spent trying to find the wreckage, major parts of it still remain missing. As a result of the crash, all airplanes must now have tracking equipment installed on them.

Flying in an airplane is extremely safe. While there has not been a major airplane crash since 2014, investigators stand ready to investigate another one if it should occur. Then, they will make recommendations to make flying even safer.

25 Busiest Airports in the United States

Over 932 million passengers caught flights on United States carriers during 2016. More passengers chose to fly on Southwest than any other airline followed by American and Delta with most flights filling to about 84 percent occupancy. The average passenger trip length was 1,474 miles. The busiest month for airports in the United States was July followed closely by June and August. Many different airports saw a rise in the number of passengers catching flights bound for cities in the United States.

5 Busiest Airports in the United States

The busiest airport in the United States remains Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 44,873,000 passengers caught a flight from this airport, which is a decrease of 0.56 percent over the previous year. Delta maintains the world’s busiest hub at this airport which also serves as a hub for Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines.

The second busiest airport in the United States is O’Hare International Airport in Chicago where over 31,132,000 passengers started their air flight. This airport has eight runways which are more than any other United States airport. O’Hare serves as a hub airport for United and American along with being a focus city for Frontier and Sprint.

Los Angeles International Airport is the third busiest airport with over 27,465,000 passengers catching flights from this California airport. This airport serves as a focus or hub city for more mainland United States carriers than any other United States airport, it is also the only airport to rank in the top five for both passengers embarked and cargo moved.

The fourth busiest airport for flights to United States cities is Denver International Airport, which is also the largest airport in the United States by land mass. Over 25,982,000 embarked on a domestic flight from this location. United and Southwest almost tie for the most passengers served from this location.

Rounding out the top five for passengers traveling to another United States city is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with 27,903,000 passengers embarking here. American Airlines operates the world’s second busiest hub at this airport.

Rounding Out the Top 25 Airports in the United States

Like the top five airports in the United States, the next 20 are scattered across the United States. They each have their own focal points. A few are located relatively close together, so it may save companies money if they check the prices at other possible locations.

Busiest Airports in the United States No. 6-25


Rank Location Passengers Served Major Carrier
6 McCarran International 20,516,000 Southwest
7 Charlotte Douglas International 20,394 American
8 Phoenix Sky Harbor 20,201,000 American
9 Seattle/Tacoma International 18,810,000 Alaska
10 San Francisco International 19,243.000 United
11 Orlando International 17,056,000 Southwest
12 Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport 16,619,000 Delta
13 Detroit Metro Wayne County 15,081,000 Delta
15 George Bush Intercontinental Airport 15,299,000 United
16 Newark Liberty International Airport 13,422,000 United
17 John F. Kennedy 13,464,000 Jetblue
18 LaGuardia 13,829,000 Delta
19 Philadelphia International 13,138,000 American
20 Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall 11,513,000 Southwest
21 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International 10,975,000 JetBlue
22 Ronald Reagan Washington National 11,252,000 American
23 Salt Lake City International 10,538.000 Delta
24 Chicago Midway International 10,597,000 Southwest
25 Miami International 10,790,000 American


Remember that these are the airports ranked by number of passengers starting their United States destination trip there.

The busiest airports in the United States handle the majority of 932 million passengers who get on and off a plane in the country annually. Currently, most planes fly at about 82 percent capacity. The number of people flying continues to rise each year. Therefore, these airports are likely to get busier.

Keeping Business Executives Safe When Traveling Overseas

About 48 percent of all business executives who make more than 13 trips a year say that their primary concern when traveling is staying safe. Business travelers should take precautions to stay healthy while traveling along with using caution to protect themselves from dangerous situations. It is essential that travelers know what to do in various scenarios. Businesses should create a written plan covering the most common scenarios along with what they expect their employees to do in each case when traveling overseas.

Staying Healthy When Traveling Overseas

Travelers can take several precautions to help them stay healthy when traveling overseas. All employees should be washing their hands on a regular basis. Encourage your employees to drink bottled water. When setting up travel itineraries, read reviews of restaurants as choosing top-rated restaurants often helps one avoid food contamination. Within reason, allow employees to use part of their travel budgets to stay active or house employees in hotels with good fitness facilities. A company’s travel budget should pay for recommended vaccinations wherever they choose to send your employees. Employees should have access to the latest travel health warnings from a reputable organization before leaving.

Employees should have a list of the best hospitals and emergency clinics in the area in a folder when they travel. The name of these facilities should be written down in the local language helping employees share the information with taxi drivers and chauffeurs if needed. Furthermore, it is a great idea to write down any health conditions in the local language. Teach employees that they can contact the local embassy for more help. Many companies pay for travelers’ insurance on their key employees or offer it at a greatly reduced rate.

Staying Safe Physically When Traveling for Business

Staying safe on the road begins with booking the right hotel. After checking a hotel’s reputation, then book a room between the third and sixth floors for your employee. Rooms located on the first floor are more prone to being broken into while those above the sixth floor are harder for emergency responders to reach. Teach employees that if their room number is announced when they check-in that they should immediately ask for another room. In addition, encourage travelers to carry their own hotel safety devices with them.

Someone at the company’s headquarters should have immediate access to any employee’s travel itinerary. Employees should be taught who they can contact 24 hours a day seven days a week to receive help if they feel like they are in trouble. A file should be created with copies of the traveler’s passport and tickets. The employee should give this to someone at the office before embarking on their travels; they should also give it to a trusted family member or friend along with emailing a copy of it to themselves.

After they leave, employees should be encouraged to carry all their important travel documents, credit cards and cash in different locations. The safest spot to carry these important items is in front pockets as it is much harder to pick a front pocket than a back. Employees may be tempted to turn their back for just a second if the documents and money are in a pocketbook.

Staying safe while traveling on corporate business begins with staying healthy. Take precautions before leaving by getting the right vaccinations and reading about the area. Drinking bottled water and hand washing can help prevent many illnesses. Encourage employees to make copies of their travel documents and to carry all important papers and money in separate locations. Ask employees to choose hotels based on their safety ratings.

Improving Company Travel Compliance While Keeping Budgets in Check

Many company’s chief financial officers will tell you that their employees do a very poor job of staying in compliance with their corporation’s travel policies. Others will tell you that they are constantly being asked to pay for expenses exceeding proposed budgets. This constant fight can be handled by making sure that travel policies are clear and up-to-date along with appropriating funds correctly. Many company’s chief financial officers will tell you that their employees do a very poor job of staying in compliance with their corporation’s travel policies. Others will tell you that they are constantly being asked to pay for expenses exceeding proposed budgets. This constant fight can be handled by making sure that travel policies are clear and up-to-date along with appropriating funds correctly.

Corporate Travel Policies

Regardless of a company’s size, they should have written corporate travel policies that are in line with the company’s culture. These policies should clearly spell out where employees are expected to book their travel or if they can choose to book wherever they find the best rates. Policies should also enunciate when corporate travel cards will be used and when employees can use their own credit cards while receiving compensation at a later date. Furthermore, the policy should state what class of flights will be covered and if particular airline alliances are preferred. The policy should state how to determine the type of accommodations the employee must choose along with how to determine an appropriate rate. Policies should also be put into place on car rentals, taxis and other forms of transportation allowing employees to understand when these expenses will be covered. Clear and realistic policies are likely to increase employee compliance.

Cost of Airline Tickets

The corporate travel policy should cover an estimate of a reasonable cost for airline tickets into different cities. Encourage employees to book as far ahead as possible by putting a requirement in place that tickets booked on short-term notice must be approved by upper management. Encourage employees to use exchange rates to the company’s advantage. Additionally, make it fun for employees to hunt down the best fare for their seats by splitting the savings with them.

Average Ticket Prices US to Major Destinations


Destination First Class Economy Class
US to Africa $5,800 $4,800
US to Asia $3,800 $2,800
US to Australia $5,800 $4.800
US to India $5,000 $3,700
US to Europe $3,500 $2,500
US to South America $3,800 $2,800


Corporate financial officers can help keep travel budgets under control by making sure that all policies are outlined clearly in writing so that employees know what is allowed and what they must avoid. The policy should cover all areas of travel including airlines, taxis, car rentals and trains. The written directions should also cover when a hotel will be paid for along with advice on picking out great ones at reasonable costs. Encouraging employees to save money by splitting the rewards with them when they find a great deal may also help keep costs in check.

Business Travel’s Changing Landscape

Over 94 percent of all business travel in the United States happens on the ground within four hours of where the business executive is based. The other 6 percent are usually made by air and last for less than four days. Businesses expect to pay an average of $1,887 on business trips. Almost 50 percent of all business travelers say that they feel intense pressure from their employers to control expenses while traveling. These excursions are usually made because top management finds that there is no substitute for being there in person. The average business traveler is 38 years old, has a college degree and is male. Beyond that, business travelers tend to divide into two distinct groups who each have their own expectations.

Road Warriors

Business travelers who are road warriors tend to take more than 13 trips annually, and they tend to spend at least four days away from their main office on each business trip. Staying connected to their families is a high priority because of the amount of time that they spend flying. Therefore, they are very likely to bring along the latest gadgets and they embrace new technology with open arms. They are also likely to bring along multiple ways to connect because they do not want connectivity issues to ruin their trips. While they are capable of writing expense reports that outshine other travelers in their offices, most prefer to use technology to make filing these reports faster and easier. Many road warriors have been to the same destination multiple times, so they are harder to impress although they will not hesitate to spend money on a new adventure when the opportunity presents itself.

Business Travelers Gaining Experience

In order to become a road warrior, businesses must recruit younger members who are willing to spend time traveling. These travelers are very likely to take more than 14 business trips a year. They are also more likely to tack personal days on either end of a business trip, and they may even bring someone else along with them. Therefore, the best companies have created well-written policies on how many personal days can be taken on a business trip and who can go. The inexperienced business traveler is more likely to spend money entertaining clients in unique ways. This has given rise to travel industries offering unique experiences for the business traveler. The inexperienced business traveler is also more likely to use social media to connect with local friends in each destination, and they are more likely to share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

In order to make the most of the travel budget, corporations must have well-written travel policies. Establishing these policies ahead of time sets clear expectations on what employees can and cannot do while traveling on corporate expense budgets. Corporations need to make it easier for travelers to use the latest technology to stay connected to their families and friends while on the road. Allowing employees to file expense reports quickly adds to the enjoyment level of trips while lowering stress and burnout rates. Businesses need clear policies on who is allowed to go on trips along with policies on what expenses are deductible.

Best Airlines in 2017 for International and Domestic Business Travel

It is estimated that businesses will spend more than $1.5 trillion on business travel by 2020. China is quickly becoming the hottest market for business travelers growing by about 11.4 percent annually. By comparison, business travel in the United States is growing only by about 1.5 percent annually. More executives from India and Indonesia will be traveling, and more directors of companies will be traveling to those countries as well. No one is sure the long-term impact that Brexit will have on business travel within that region. Regardless of the region, they are traveling to or from, business travelers are demanding more personalized service along with the ability to get more done while in the air. They also want top-notch services from their airlines while they are at the airport. Competition on many routes will continue to be stiff with airlines fighting to get the most business travelers.

The Best Airlines for International Business Travel

Qatar Airways has upped their game for business travelers with the introduction of Qsuites. These moveable dividers in business-class allow travelers to enjoy working in their own private suite which comes complete with a door. Up to four seats can be enclosed in one suite making it easy to have a meeting in the air. Travelers can adjust the mood lighting along with using luxury beauty products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio. Travelers can also choose from a wide selection of the world’s best wines and choose from top-notch food selections based on the destination along with the ability to choose from over 1,000 movies, songs and games by just touching a button.

Other airlines with suites that business travelers may want to consider include Singapore Airlines allowing guests to pre-order from their favorite airline chefs, Etihad Airways suites that come equipped with their own showers, Air France suites that come with their own 6.5 foot long bed and Qantas featuring vintage champagnes.

The Best Airlines for Domestic Business Travel in the United States

Even if you are staying in the United States, the choosing the right airline can help business travelers feel great when they reach their destinations. Business travelers will want to check out the Polaris Experience on United’s 77W wide-bodied airplanes and soon to be introduced to their other airplanes. Their patented Zodiac Seats each offer aisle access, and flyers can pull up a petition allowing them to be totally secluded from flyers sitting next to them. Each seat comes with a white marble-like side table and a pull-up bar. Above each seat, flyers find an air vent allowing them to control the temperature in their portion of the airplane. A mattress and a cooling-gel pillow make it easy to sleep while in the air or use the in-flight entertainment to keep yourself occupied. Before leaving and after arrival, many flyers take advantage of the Polaris Lounges that include showers and laundry service.

If you simply must get to your meeting on time, then consider Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta. These airlines each had more than 85 percent of their flights land within 15 minutes of their announced arrival time, and they had very few canceled flights.

As more top executives take to the air to reach important business meetings, airlines are increasing the enjoyment during flights to get there. Travelers flying overseas should consider Qatar Airlines because of their Qsuites while other airlines like Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Air France are incorporating their own suites into airplanes. In the United States, United Airlines has introduced the new Polaris experience to many of their planes. If you simply must get there on time, then consider Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta.

Why Business Travel Policies Are Important

If you run a business that demands travel, then you more than likely to have some sort of travel policy in place. Your travel policy also should have procedures in place that cover most contingencies that employees might face on the road. But when was the last time your policy was reviewed? It is a good idea to do this at least once a year to make sure that it’s not limiting your business growth and frustrating your employees. The other reason to do this review is that change is pretty constant in all things and reviewing your company’s policies and procedures in travel and expenses related to travel and business may be exactly what you need to drive up your business results and decrease your travel expenses.

Here are five things you may want to consider when creating or updating your company travel policy. First of all, base your policy on the employees that will be traveling the most and on what they feel and on what would be beneficial for them. As an example, they may not care what hotel they stay at, but they may prefer to eat better than the fair available at a low-cost hotel. In that case, the money you saved on accommodations could be reallocated on better dining options. Avoid a standardized travel policy, instead, you could even adapt it to the traveling employee’s lifestyle.

Your travel policy is a tool for communication. If properly laid out it will provide clarity and boundaries for those employees that travel. It is a company guideline policy. It should detail everything from booking flights to reserving rental cars. It should also put whatever limits are expected by the company for payment of these services. As an example, do you expect the lowest air fares available to be purchased by your employees or is first class acceptable? All of these things need to be communicated in you travel policy manual.

Don’t forget that travel, especially long-term traveling, will take your employee away from their friends and family. This can take a physical and even a mental toll on people. You can soften some of that burden by allowing your traveling employees to use their personal travel reward memberships for flights and even hotel stays. This way they not only are making a paycheck but they are also accumulating points toward their next family vacation.

Because the price of travel is constantly changing, travel policy and procedures manual should be reviewed at the very least on an annual basis. This will allow you to balance your travel budget by being aware of any additional costs that crop up. Here are a few of the items that you might want to know about.

  1. What is the cost of travel now? Does the company’s budget allow for the necessary expenses? What are the average gains for the company based on travel days and prospects seen?
  2. Are company employees getting what they need when they travel? Are there things that would make their travel more comfortable? Are they making any unnecessary purchases?
  3. Have there been any issues or employee complaints that might change your policy or procedures?
    • Answering these questions can help you refine your company travel policy and could even possibly help control the costs involved. You should also evaluate industry trends and regularly assess your travel budget needs. This will help you discover if your travel budget is accurate along with your projected travel expenses. Also keeping track of new business contacts and new customer acquisitions versus money spent to acquire them. This number will give you what the cost benefit analysis of your business travel actually is. Be especially aware of even small costs that could possibly be considered minor. These seemingly insignificant expenses can add up to a surprisingly large amount if not kept under control.
  4. Be Aware of Scams

When you create a travel policy, always be sure to put in checks and safeguards to prevent employees from taking advantage of the company. Turning in receipts in this digital world we all live in today is just not enough as technology advances. As it advances, so do the chances for successfully manipulating travel expenses by employees. There are, as an example, websites that actually allow the users who log in generate fake receipts. Here is an example of what I’m talking about, just click or paste the hyperlink http://goo.gl/XT6WNb into your browser. Because of sites like this and the fact that it’s illegal to request an employee’s personal credit card statements, there is little chance of proving that this sort of activity goes on with the employees you have that do travel.

However, there is a way around all of this without calling an employee’s character into question, just get your company to issue the traveling employee a corporate credit card. Another way to attack this problem is with a company expense card. Expense cards can be managed easily and all expenses can be tracked and accounted for as they are paid for. You have the ability to approve card funds and even set limits on spending if you wish. Which one is best for you is personal preference.

One of the biggest expenses a company has, is with airline travel. However, what many people are unaware of is that you may be able to actually negotiate airline rates. You can, if you have an attractive travel schedule, even be able to get into a cooperative traveling schedule with an airline. These kinds of arrangement do occur depending on the amount of travel you intend on doing and some other factors. While this is becoming harder to accomplish, it’s still possible if you can demonstrate a significant travel volume, and your ability to control and shift your travel volume to a preferred airline.

Negotiating rates with airlines is, however, becoming an increasingly difficult proposition as airlines consolidate, trim routes and limit discounts to protect their always-fragile bottom lines. It can still be done, but in order to even get an airline to pick up the phone and engage in negotiations, you have to demonstrate a significant travel volume, and the ability to control and shift that volume to a preferred airline. Once you have that foundation, set realistic goals for negotiations based on the scope of your travel program. If you are inexperienced with these negotiations, you might need to use a knowledgeable consultant for their expertise.

Another way to handle these costs is by using a Travel Management Company. What they can provide you, can be all inclusive if that is what you need. They can decide on the class of service employees are allowed to fly on, they are able to negotiate corporate fares with airlines and hotels, and can even how corporate credit cards are used by your employees. For many, if not most companies, travel and expense costs are generally the second highest controllable annual expense facing a company.

The Travel Management Company’s job then is to offer a set of comprehensive services to its clients. They may have the ability to provide you with the best airfares and give you all the tools that you need to manage, to adapt and to advise your travel requirements. Whether their customers are large or small, they can enhance the travel experience and make certain that the business travelers itineraries are successfully met.

Another thing that is important to the companies that provide this service is the customers’ travel management needs. To remain competitive, the best of these companies offer solutions that are reliable, cost-effective, and compliant with local ordinances. However, what generally sets a business apart from its competitors is its customer service. The difference in travel management companies is, of course, their customer service and their scale. Are they local, regional or global and are they innovation driven or technology driven?

There are, as you may have noticed here, many variations of services available in different Travel Management Companies. The only way to really determine which one is best suited to your needs is to do a Google search and either go onto their website or give them a call and talk to them about your needs. Once you find one, you are comfortable with, always get several referrals you can speak with to double check their references. In fact, talk to the company CEO, the owner of the company or their Chief Operating Officer to get to the truth of how effective the travel management company actually is in providing the services that you need.