KLM apologizes over since-deleted post about airplane fatalities

Julia Thompson
KLM's since-deleted tweet

Twitter users slammed KLM Tuesday after a verified Twitter account associated with the Dutch airline posted about the likelihood of fatality based on where passengers were seated. 

The tweet has since been deleted and an apology issued. 

The @KLMIndia post read: "According to data studies by Time, the fatality rate for the seats in the middle of the plane is the highest. 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 included hashtags #TuesdayTrivia #Aircraft #Facts and #Aircraft and accompanied a photo of a single airplane seat suspended in the clouds with the words "Seats at the back of the plane are the safest!"

The tweet was deleted Wednesday and followed by an apology: "We would like to sincerely apologise for a recent update. The post was based on a publically 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."

Twitter users were quick to question why an airline would make light of airplane fatalities and to ask for the tweet to be deleted. 

The account appears to be regionally-specific, though several users tagged in the main @KLM Twitter account when asking for the tweet to be removed. 

Jason Rabinowitz retweeted it and called out the social media faux pas: "The person who tweeted this needs some retraining ASAP."

Another twitter user replied to the tweet: "This is account is hacked, surely"

The tweet in question followed a post that asked a trivia question about seat safety but didn't specifically mention fatalities: "Do you know which are the safest seats on an #aircraft? Comment the correct answer below and stand a chance to win exciting #KLM goodies! #TuesdayTrivia #KLM #KLMIndia"

"The post of our team in India was based on a publicly available aviation fact and isn’t a KLM opinion," Manel Vrijenhoek, a spokesperson for KLM, told USA TODAY via email. "KLM apologizes for any distress the tweet may have caused. We will be reviewing our Twitter protocol to better ensure appropriate content."

KLM recently announced plans to expand in India, with new service to Bangalore coming in the fall. The airline already serves Delhi and Mumbai. 

Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: KLM posts about airplane fatalities, gets slammed on Twitter