A 2015 report compiled by Time magazine found that the safest seats in a commercial airplane such as the Boeing 737-800 are middle seats in the rear of the aircraft. The authors based the study on a compilation of crash survival data from a 15-year period.
The study found 17 plane crashes with seating charts suitable for analysis in determining fatality rates. For these flights, passengers in the rear third of the aircraft had a 32 percent fatality rate, while passengers seated in the middle third and front third of the plane had 39 and 38 percent fatality rates, respectively. Passengers sitting in the middle seats in the rear third of the aircraft had a 28 percent fatality rate, the lowest recorded by the study. The worst off were passengers sitting in the aisle seats in the middle third of the aircraft. These passengers had a 44 percent fatality rate.