Stepping aboard a plane for many is seen as just the arbitrary necessity to begin a holiday but for others it conjures up a wave of anxiety and worry.
For people who have a fear of flying, hearing a reassuring voice coming for the cockpit can help to relax a few nerves. It’s that sense of familiarity, a calming tone that can put the mind at ease and is a major component of a pilot’s job. Passengers want to regard the flight as a mere formality so they can begin to enjoy their holiday.
Does having a particular accent play a part in the life of a pilot? Well, apparently, it does. However, which is the most reassuring accent to hear from the cockpit? Is it the lilting Irish tones, the playful Cockney drawl or the Hugh Grant-esque Queen’s English timbre?
Research from online flight booking site Kiwi.com quizzed a series of frequent fliers and found that almost half (49%) said that the Queen’s English put them at ease. Respondents added that “received pronunciation” boosted their confidence. This was in stark contrast to the 1% who said they felt at ease hearing a Scouse accent.
After the Queen’s English, fliers noted that Scottish (18%) and Welsh (11%) accents calm the nerves before take-off. A whopping 85% of respondents said that hearing the sound of a female pilot made them feel much safer.
Reassuring accents are all well and good but there is a much more important question – which is the sexiest pilot accent? Well, that title was taken by airline captains from north of the border. Scottish accents were deemed the most attractive by 23% of the respondents with Northern Irish and Irish coming in joint second with 19%.
Spare a thought for Birmingham-born pilots who not only have one of the least reassuring accents (2%) but also the least attractive (1%).
Stephen Davis, from Kiwi.com, said: “Frequent flyers seemingly get a bit lustful when Scottish pilots are on board, but it’s essential that travellers feel safe and reassured.
“Forget the Rescue Remedy, all you need is a bit of Queen’s English to settle the nerves.
“Female pilots continue to challenge gender stereotypes in such a male dominated industry and the suggestion that there should be more women in the cockpit, as they are far more reassuring and instill confidence in passengers, should be taken into account.”