Here's some good news for anyone boarding a plane this holiday season: Flying on U.S. airlines has become so safe that experts increasingly believe the biggest remaining risk of an accident is when the wheels are on the ground.
This is truly impressive. But what will become of the charming tradition of applauding a pilot who has successfully landed a plane that's been through an unusually bumpy flight? Are we now not idiots for clapping? The danger was never in the sky but here on the ground—the "surface threats" The captain hasn't taken us to safety but away from it.