The Dutch airline KLM took a social media beating this week after its India team shared a tweet about the seats where passengers are most likely to die, according to a new report.
The tweet in question, posted by @KLMIndia along with the hashtags #TuesdayTrivia, #Aircraft and #Facts, has since been deleted.
“According to data studies by Time, the fatality rate for the seats in the middle of the plane is the highest,” said the tweet, obtained by USA Today. “However, the fatality rate for the seats in the front is marginally lesser and is least for seats at the rear third of a plane.”
The post accompanied a photo of a single airplane seat atop the clouds with the words, “Seats at the back of a plane are the safest!” above it.
The tweet was deleted on Wednesday, and the airline issued an apology in a follow-up post.
“We would like to sincerely apologize for a recent update,” the apology said. “The post was based on a publicly available aviation fact, and isn’t a @KLM opinion. It was never our intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. The post has since been deleted.”
And the airline explained the social media slip-up in a statement issued to USA Today.
“The post of our team in India was based on a publicly available aviation fact and isn’t a KLM opinion,” airline spokesman Manel Vrijenhoek said in an email. “KLM apologizes for any distress the tweet may have caused. We will be reviewing our Twitter protocol to better ensure appropriate content.”
Still, many Twitter users blasted the post as insensitive, and making light of airplane deaths.
“The person who tweeted this needs some retraining ASAP,” Jason Rabinowitz, co-host of the Flightradar24 “AvTalk” podcast, posted.
“This account is hacked, surely,” user Melusi Maposa replied.
The tweet followed another trivia post about seat safety that did not mention fatalities, but has also since been deleted, according to USA Today.
“Do you know which are the safest seats on an #aircraft?” the tweet said. “Comment the correct answer below and stand a chance to win exciting #KLM goodies! #TuesdayTrivia #KLM #KLMIndia.”
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