Comfort, in-flight entertainment and scheduling all come into consideration when choosing which airline to fly with.
But how many people actually take a close look at an airline's safety record before typing in their credit card details and completing the booking process?
Help is at hand for those who want some assurance that they are in the safest of hands during their journey, as AirlineRatings.com has revealed its annual top 20 safest airlines list from the 409 it monitors.
The airlines are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft, according to editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas.
And among the list of 20, which is not ranked, are the UAE's Etihad Airways and Emirates, as well as Emirates partner Qantas which was singled out as the world's safest in the previous four years.
Mr Thomas said that only serious incidents are considered when determining which airlines make the top 20.
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“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems," he said.
"And it is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one. So just lumping all incidents together is very misleading.
"Our Top 20 safest airlines are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence and the launching of new more advanced aircraft like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.”
Last year was one of the safest on record for commercial air travel with no accidental deaths on passenger jets, according to analysts.