I’m terrified of flying on this plane and am surprised Alaska Airlines still uses them since they seem to have significant landing gear problems. However, I have to fly on one next week. Are these planes really unsafe compared to jets? Is the turbulence experienced by passengers pretty terrible in these?
First off Alaska doesn’t fly the Q400, it’s Regional partner Horizon does. Second you really need to relax. The Q400 is simply a stretched (and quieter) version of the VERY popular VERY safe Dash-8 series which has been in production since the 70’s. Over 1200 have been produced and they have literally flown hundreds of thousands of hours without incident. When an airplane crashes it’s always news because the media loves to hype it up and the flying public responds in kind. The fact is if the Q400 had any serious and legitimate safety concerns it would’ve been grounded years ago. As for the turbulence the reason there are more passenger complaints in the Q then in a comparable jet is because turboprops cannot fly as high and sometimes can’t get above the weather which is where the bumps are. Regardless while uncomfortable there’s nothing dangerous about turbulence.
The bottomline is you’re thousands of times more at risk driving your car to and from the airport than during your flight. Have a glass of wine and relax.
Plus, on Horizon’s Q400s, everyone flies first class. Free beer and wine to passengers 21 and older on Q400 flights longer than 45 minutes, right?
Never had a problem flying on them when I was younger, pretty much flew exclusively on them from 93-2004. Never experienced any kind of uncomfortable turbulence, or landing issues even in winter weather as far as I could tell