Have a safe flight...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by zentinel, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. zentinel Member

    Is saying "have a safe flight" to someone considered rude when they aren't the ones operating the aircraft?

    It makes sense to say "have a safe ride" when they drive, but for some reason, when you talk about an airplane, it makes it seem as though you're implying that the plane has a high probability of something unfortunate to occur.

    Regardless if a friend or someone at the airport giving you the ticket [what is the word for that?] says it, would one presume it was a kind gesture [right word?], or would they take offense to it?

    Thanks so much.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  2. El escoces Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    English - UK
    In English, it's a perfectly natural and acceptable, well-meaning sentiment to express.

    (The person giving you the ticket - do you mean the check-in attendant?)
  3. zentinel Member

    Thanks! I won't take offense to it next time! :)

    (Check-in attendant was it, thanks!)
  4. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    No. "Have a safe flight" is broadly equivalent to the expressions "bon voyage" or "have a pleasant trip," for example. There is no implied assumption that the person is somehow likely to have an unpleasant trip, even though the journey may not be under his/her control.

    As with the expression "have a nice day," which we discussed a few days ago, "have a safe flight" should not be overanalyzed or taken too literally. It's just a polite phrase expressing goodwill.

    EDIT: Boy, I was really late with this one. Sorry!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  5. kenny4528

    kenny4528 Senior Member

    Mandarin, Taiwan
    So, I wonder whether have a good flight is better than have a safe flight? I most often come across the former one in an email from hotel after my booking confirmed. I also find this article, in which the writer seems to prefer one than the other.
  6. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    the kenny4528 article expresses my sentiments exactly. When travelling the thought of impending peril is never far from my mind, as I can never quite fathom how umteen tons of metal are going to stay in the air. Just to ward off the paranoia I leave comments of safety out of the conversation. But that's just me.
  7. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    It's not just you, shawnee. I would never say "Have a safe flight" to anyone, and I hope no-one ever says it to me, as it would immediately start me thinking about ways in which the flight might be :eek:unsafe. "Have a good flight" is fine.

    Incidentally, I've never heard "Have a safe drive"/"Have a safe ride" - though I have heard "Drive safely" or "Drive carefully". I don't react badly to either of these, I suppose for the reason given in kenny's article: that I am (at least partly) in control of the process.
  8. cbtz81 New Member

    Great site! My neice and nephew and their m are leaving on their flight ms today and for some reason I could not complete a "Have a good flight" text without wondering if it was appropriate
  9. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Welcome, cbtz.

    What are 'm' and 'ms'?
    I can't think of anything that would fit in both places. (We try to avoid abbreviations on this forum, for the sake of readers like me.)
  10. cbtz81 New Member

    The "m" was supposed to be the word "mom" and the "ms" wasn't even supposed to be there! Sorry for the missing word and mistype! Thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2015
  11. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Thank you for taking the time to explain.

    Your post seems to be a comment rather than a question, unless I misunderstand.

    Yes, I agree. It is reassuring to know that other people find the message appropriate. :)
  12. ain'ttranslationfun? Senior Member

    US English
    I agree with Loob (July 30th, 2009 :D ); if a check-in employee said "Have a safe flight!" to me, I'd worry, too! "Enjoy your flight!/Have a good flight!", maybe? < Topic drift >
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2015
  13. Miss Julie

    Miss Julie Senior Member

    Chicago metro area
    < Response to deleted comment. >

    And "have a safe trip" should be directed toward the pilots; it's out of my control.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2015
  14. ain'ttranslationfun? Senior Member

    US English
    I'd say "Fly safely!" to a pilot, if I said anything, which I doubt I'd do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2015
  15. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I often suggest that they, "Drive with reckless abandon...":D

    I don't think "have a safe flight" is much different than "have a happy and healthy..." The intention is clearly that you travel well.

    In an earlier era it was common to say, "have fair winds and a following sea..." which is tantamount to saying have a safe journey.


    Not rude:tick:

Share This Page