Passengers Most Trust Airline Pilots With Midwestern Accents

Sep 25, 2018

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When a pilot comes over an aircraft loudspeaker, it’s usually to give important flight information to passengers or reassure them about an issue like turbulence.

But, according to a new survey, some pilots’ voices are more trustworthy than others. Specifically, commercial airline passengers have the most confidence in pilots with Upper Midwestern accents — like Wisconsinites or Minnesotans — at the helm of an aircraft. Their counterparts from Texas, however, do not fair so well. Of the 4,207 American flyers surveyed, 65% said that a Texas accent was the least confidence-inspiring in a pilot.

A pilot’s voice, often the only identifying detail passengers have of their cockpit crew, is a major factor in whether flyers trust the person at the flight controls. A majority of passengers surveyed — 54% — said that a pilot’s accent affected their confidence in his or her ability to perform their duties.

The survey was conducted by budget travel site Jetcost. Participants were US passengers who had flown in the past year. They were presented with a range of English-speaking accents and asked which ones would instill the least confidence in their pilots.

Here are the top five most and least confidence-inspiring pilots’ accents:

Least Confidence-Inspiring Pilot Accents:
  1. Texan — 65%
  2. New York — 59%
  3. General American — 54%
  4. Central Canadian — 45%
  5. Southwestern US — 37%
Most Confidence-Inspiring Pilot Accents:
  1. Upper Midwestern — 63%
  2. Southern Californian — 58%
  3. Great Lakes — 51%
  4. British — 47%
  5. Eastern New England — 39%

H/T: LA Times

Featured image by Digital Vision / Getty Images.

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