Madeleine Albright Pleads for Safety in the Air

Air travel has a bad name, according to former U.S. Secretary of State and now- billionaire philanthropist Madeleine Albright. Acknowledging that just 1.6 percent of Americans have “a great deal of trust” in flying, Albright called for the industry to get serious about responding to passenger safety concerns, for everyone’s sake. In a speech at New York University, Albright cited the recent death of a New York City woman, who was traveling alone, as an example of the dangers involved with commercial travel. “Why shouldn’t we try and make flying safer, and why should that not be a government business?” she asked. She said that while the airline industry alone controls 99 percent of the market, it has a habit of using public sentiment as the reason for dropping standards. The one time Albright has flown commercial, she recalled being presented with a choice between a restricted and unlimited set of food. While eating a restricted meal, she said she suffered a dropped jaw — something which is now the bane of her flying experience. She added that she was quick to get away from the all-business-class zones of a plane when she flew to China in 2000. That did not prevent her from getting into the habit of telling the fellow passengers about the three-pound knife she was carrying. “And when we got back to America, I had to give my husband a glass of whiskey,” she noted. “How could I fly home in a business-class cabin, and not be drinking before I left, and when I got home, give it to my husband to get him drunk?”

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