Anxious Flyers Take Note: The Kiplinger Letter

Whether it's the routes to avoid that have the most turbulence or the safest airline, we've got you covered.

Young woman feeling bad during a flight and breathing into a bag
(Image credit: Getty Images)

To help you understand what is going on in the travel sector our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

Taking a flight between Nashville, Tennessee and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina? The route has the most wind turbulence in North America in a new ranking compiled by Turbli, a website that forecasts turbulence for flights along with wind, thunderstorms, takeoff and landing crosswinds. Next on the list for turbulence are Charlotte to Pittsburgh; Denver to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; New York JFK to Raleigh-Durham; and Warwick, Rhode Island to Syracuse, N.Y. 

Portland International Airport in Oregon is the location with the worst overall turbulence, followed by Denver, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Salt Lake City. As for international routes, Santiago, Chile to Santa Cruz, Bolivia has the most turbulence, with Santiago’s airport being the worst international airport. But a note for anxious flyers: Modern planes are designed to withstand bumps, even major ones, without problems. Injuries are very rare… there were only 17 cases in 2022. 

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And if you're looking for a safe airline to carry you through, Air New Zealand has reclaimed its title as the world’s safest airline, according to a new report from Rounding out the top five: Australia’s Qantas, Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. Alaska Airlines is the only U.S. carrier to make the top 10. 

Safety problems often arise from aircraft or engine manufacturing issues, not airline operational problems. How a flight crew handles serious incidents separates a good airline from an unsafe one. The launching of new, more advanced aircraft should help boost safety over the coming years. Models include Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 and 777-9.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.