http://media.www.smithsophian.com/m...Worries.Over.Airline.Negligence-3994779.shtml After waiting in line to check my bags, another line for a security check, and yet another to board the plane, I am tired of waiting and eager to be on the 405, cruising south towards LAX and home. I look down at my boarding pass, and realize that 14E is a middle seat; the airlines have made a habit of placing me there. I inhale, and after I awkwardly bump pass my seat partner, I try to get comfy. The bouncy takeoff always lulls me to sleep, and as I scootch down in my seat, 14D inhales sharply, grasping my hand instead of her armrest. I keep my eyes closed, and hope that she pops a Xanax before takeoff. But, when we reach 10,000 feet, she continues her racket. At 20,000 feet, she's sipping on wine and clicking her tongue. No rest will be gotten on this redeye - I'm in the company of a fly-phobe. My sympathy grew for 14D a little too late. As I read about the shredded ceiling of an in-flight carrier earlier this month, I thought of her frantic gasps and grabbing hands. On a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento, a two-foot hole appeared behind the wing of a Southwest operated Boeing 737, necessitating an emergency landing in the middle of the desert. The hole resulted from fatigue cracks in the fuselage, which are increasingly common in older planes. Most airlines boast 737s, so this occurrence was not isolated to Southwest's negligence. The planes are, of course, inspected for and taken care of, a result of demands from a growing list of government safeguards. Yet, mistakes are made, and these mistakes are becoming less unusual as airlines avoid upgrading their fleets. In the struggling economy, airlines are hit hard, and time and money are necessary flotation devices; safety procedures lose priority.