Study Finds Passengers Trust Pilots With Midwestern Accents the Most

Flying on an aircraft means trusting the pilot flying it, and it turns out a pilot's accent can make a difference in how confident a passenger feels during a flight.

A new survey of 4,207 U.S. travelers conducted by Jetcost found that 54% of respondents are more or less confident in their pilot based on the pilot’s accent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Related: Why You Shouldn't Freak Out If You See Your Pilot Sleeping on a Flight (Video)

When it came to which accents passengers trust the most, it was the Midwest and West Coast that most boosted confidence in the pilot.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said an Upper Midwestern accent made them trust the pilot's abilities, while 58% said the same of a Southern Californian accent.

Accents That Draw the Most Amount of Confidence

  1. Upper Midwestern — 63%

  2. Southern Californian — 58%

  3. Great Lakes — 51%

  4. Central Canadian — 45%

  5. Southwestern U.S. — 37%

The survey also found that some accents can lower a passenger’s confidence in a pilot.

These included a Texan accent, with 65 percent of respondents saying the accent would give them the least amount of confidence.

Accents That Draw the Least Amount of Confidence

  1. Texan — 65%

  2. New York — 59%

  3. General American — 54%

  4. Central Canadian — 45%

  5. Southwestern U.S. — 37%

While this seems to show U.S. passengers prefer a middle-of-the-country or relaxed West Coast accent the most, a 2010 survey in Britain seemed to find the opposite: found that British passengers felt safest with a male pilot with a “received pronunciation” Oxford accent, the Daily Mail reported.

If you're nervous the next time you fly, first remember that flying is practically the safest it ever has been. And second, follow this three-second safety trick from a former airline captain so that you're prepared in the case of an emergency.