10 Lies Movies Tell About Air Travel

And why the truth is way more comforting...


According to this report posted on MSN yesterday, the number of people willing to fly dropped rapidly in February.

Folk simply don’t want to step inside aeroplanes at the moment. But why? The statisticians blamed bad weather and a short month.

We don’t agree. We think its the movies. They’ve been scaring us away for years.

But flying’s ace. You get free socks and a rubbish meal, and you can - ironically - watch really cool movies on a tiny screen.

So we’ve decided to set the record straight on a few things films think about flying in the guts of giant metal birds…

The Lie: That there will be snakes. Snakes on your plane.

The Liar: According to Snakes On A Plane (2006), when you agree to step onto a commercial flight you are running a serious risk of encountering deadly snakes, idiot teenagers and misogynistic rappers. We can’t vouch for the last two, but the first one is definitely nonsense.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) govern air travel for pets. They told us that any pet travelling by air “cannot be ill, violent, or in physical distress.” So that rules out killer snakes, then. And psycho pooches. And flesh-eating birds. Basically, if you get on a plane, you're safe from any animal that's ever scared you in a movie.[page-break]

 

The Lie: That you’ll have to deal with Russian terrorists.

The Liar: Air Force One (1997) thinks that a load of badly-accented Ruskies are just waiting for their chance to interrupt your attempt to figure out the in-flight gaming system.

Why you shouldn’t worry: 



According to professor Michael L. Rothschild, the chances of being hijacked run about 135,000 to one. And that’s assuming there's one hijacked plane a week, which doesn’t actually happen. Once a month shifts it to 540,000 to one.

So you've got to be insanely unlucky if Gary Oldman pulls a piece and starts barking broken English in your face the next time you take a trip to Magaluf.[page-break]

 

The Lie: Even Steven Seagal can’t protect you from those terrorists if they do show up.

The Liar:Executive Decision (1996) would have you believe that he’d end up dying before he saves you. But is he really that useless? We doubt it.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

Steven Seagal loves the Colt M1911 automatic pistol. Not only does he use these well-calibrated weapons in all of his films, but he also keeps several more of them in his private collection, so if he’s on your flight, you just know he’s found some way to sneak two or six aboard.[page-break]

 

The Lie: That criminals will commandeer your flight.

The Liar: Con Air (1997) tries to prove that even the most secure prisoner transport flight is vulnerable to a picture-perfect group of psychos and hard nuts.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

The US Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System might not have quite the solid steel plane cabins as seen in the film, but they do have the element of surprise, since prisoners aren’t told when or where they’re going until just before they’re on the plane. “It’s so they cannot plan their own escape or arrange with outsiders to aid their escape from custody.”

Which means that even if you do step onto a flight deck with someone whose nickname is 'The Virus' you shouldn't worry. The cops have everything under control.[page-break]


The Lie: That your plane will crash.

The Liar: Cast Away (2000) has you worried that the next time Tom Hanks boards your flight, bad things will happen and you’ll end up on a folorn desert island with only a painted volleyball for company.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

According to website Fearlessflight.com, “Your chances of being involved in an aircraft accident are about 1 in 11 million. On the other hand, your chances of being killed in an automobile accident are 1 in 5000. Statistically, you are at far greater risk driving to the airport than getting on an airplane."

So if you're planning on buying up a load of Wilsons before you board your next flight, you probably shouldn't bother. Though maybe you should keep one in the back of your car, just in case you get stranded on a traffic island.[page-break]

 

The Lie: That a super-plane will go berzerk and threaten everything else in the sky.

The Liar: Stealth (2005) shows us a scary world where a HAL-like AI gets damaged and decides to take charge of a souped-up warplane. Could it happen to a regular flight? We doubt it… Yet.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

“Will pilots eventually be eliminated altogether?” yoke-wrangler Patrick Smith wrote in Salon magazine. “Perhaps someday, but here's what I believe: Nobody alive on this planet today will ever take a seat on a pilotless commercial flight. Not because they can't or shouldn't, but because the task is too massive, too complex.”

Let's face it, air companies have enough trouble cooking a decent meal for you in the sky, the chances of them replacing their charming cloud drivers with a handful of Johnny 5s are around slim to none.[page-break]


The Lie: That invading aliens will take down your aircraft.

The Liar:War Of The Worlds (2005) posits a situation where alien gits in striding war machines down a plane over a suburban home, while helpfully leaving hero Tom Cruise alive even though he was in one of the nearby houses.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute isn’t convinced we’ve so much as glimpsed a dangerous ET to date. “There's no evidence so far for intelligent aliens that a scientist would consider convincing. The reports  - even after more than 60 years of claimed alien presence – are still not good enough to stack up in a museum or intrigue many scientists.”

If the aliens do land, trust us, they're going to be way too interested in Tom Cruise to take down a commercial jet.[page-break]

 

The Lie: That a zombie outbreak will occur at 30,00 feet.

The Liar: Flight Of The Living Dead (2007) lays out a situation a little more dodgy that plastic pasta: undead hordes roaming the plane, from which there is, of course, no escape.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

Complex health screenings should catch infection. “Some countries monitor the health of people arriving from areas affected by the H5N1 virus (AKA Avian Flu), usually in airports. This could include asking passengers to fill out a questionnaire or have their temperature taken,” according to the CDC.

So anyone who answers “braaaains” to any question will automatically be sent to the nearest small American town by cab where they can terrorise the natives in peace.[page-break]



The Lie: That Ray Liotta will show up at some point.

The Liar:Turbulence (1997) aims to instil the sheer dread that Liotta’s hamtastic acting will interrupt your peaceful trip to see relatives in another country.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

"I hate flying," Liotta tells People Magazine. "I'm not good with turbulence and the lack of control. My palms sweat on takeoff and landing." So while he has to occasionally board a plane, you’re not likely to see him and he’ll be too busy panicking to annoy you.[page-break]


The Lie: That your child will be abducted and hidden as part of a plot to hold the airline hostage or else its shiny new plane will be destroyed.
 
The Liar:
Flightplan (2005) wants us to believe that the people usually to be found dishing out the headsets could conspire to dream up a plot that complicated.

Why you shouldn’t worry:

Look in the mirror. Are you Jodie Foster? Look over your shoulder, is David Fincher shouting orders at you? If the answer is no to both questions, then you’re fine, because this one is even more convoluted than zombies. If the answer is yes… Take a boat.

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Comments

    • tconrad001

      Mar 16th 2009, 10:32

      What does Flightplan have to do with David Fincher? It's not as if Foster is in a lot of his movies, only Panic Room.

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    • Joscar90019

      Mar 16th 2009, 16:37

      Interesting list. The first time I flew was in the early 80's and while waiting to board I saw a group of nuns and I'm sure one of them was carrying a guitar. I almost didn't board because I was sure that George Kennedy would come through the door and we'd go down in the Rockies.

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    • HomicidalClown

      Mar 17th 2009, 2:31

      That was a pretty good list except for the "Air Force One", Ray Liotta, and "Flightplan" ones. The accents in "Air Force One" were good, I don't know what you're talking about. Ray Liotta is a great actor, grant it he's in a lot of bad movies, but that doesn't mean he's bad. And what tconrad001 said, David Fincher has nothing to do with "Flightplan."

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