Dutch airline KLM has apologized for a tweet that explained which of an airplane’s seats are the safest. In a tweet from Tuesday that has since been deleted, USA Today reports that the company compared the fatality rates of different airplane seats, and included a caption that read “seats at the back of a plane are the safest!”
“We would like to sincerely apologize for a recent update,” the company said in a followup tweet, “The post was based on a publically available aviation fact, and isn’t a @KLM opinion.”
We would like to sincerely apologise for a recent update. The post was based on a publically available aviation fact, and isn’t a @KLM opinion. It was never our intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. The post has since been deleted.
— KLM India (@KLMIndia) July 17, 2019
The tweet in question was posted by the company’s Indian branch, @KLMIndia. It cited a study conducted by Time which claimed that the seats with the highest fatalities are in the middle of the plane, followed by seats at the front of the plane, with seats at the back of a plane being the safest statistically.
Users criticized the tweet, which was accompanied by a series of hashtags that included “#TuesdayTrivia,” for making light of airline fatalities.
The numbers themselves may not even be accurate, according to the USA’s Federal Aviation Authority. “Many people have tried and failed to produce a scientifically defensible answer to this question,” FAA communications manager Lynn Lunsford told The Washington Post, “There are too many variables, and this is the important one — so few accidents — that a simple answer is probably not statistically defensible.” A separate spokesperson confirmed to the publication that there has not been a single crash fatality on a commercial US plane since 2009.