Actuallyeven if you are reading this on a flightyou're probably still not strapped into an airbag-enabled seatbelt. Since it would have been an incredible pain to retrofit already-built airplanes and make them compliant, the 16g rule only applies to aircraft completed after October 2009. American's 777s and 737s, Delta's 777s and 767s, and US Air's A330s and A320s...those are the only domestic airplanes where you'll find the new buckle. So far.
Now the lack of retrofitting makes sense, since our current era is the safest period in the history of commercial aviation. Scheduled American flights go entire years without a single fatality. All of which begs a very important question: given that the cost of the new belts will be passed onto consumers (each one costs $1,250), was all this really necessary?
We understand that "you can't put a price on safety" and so on and so on. But sure you can! People do it all the time, every day. We all always make tradeoffs, some that we're happy with and some that we're forced to make. But if we find out that this has anything to do with Spirit's insane new "fee," there's going to be hell to pay.
Are airplane airbags worth the extra hassle and expense?
· Airbags on airplanes: Your seatbelt may hide a lifesaving surprise [USA Today]
· Airline Safety Coverage [Jaunted]
· Airline News [Jaunted]