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Air Rage

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Is it just me or has the rate of incidents on airplanes skyrocketed lately??
3 years ago, May 16th 2017 No: 1 Msg: #200950  
B Posts: 287
Badly behaving passengers OR rude airline staff OR being crammed into a tiny seat for hours on a stuffy plane can cause even the most mildly-mannered of individuals to lose it! Have you ever witnessed an incident while flying? Or been involved in one? Has an airline done you wrong? I'm sure all our seasoned TravelBloggers have a few tales to tell. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 17th 2017 No: 2 Msg: #200951  
B Posts: 1,990
The worst incident I've head about. Thankfully I wasn't there in person. Cancelled flights triggered a near riot: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/09/spirit-airlines-canceled-flights-florida/

I'ts worth noting that Spirit Airlines treats its customers badly as a deliberate part of their business plan to keep costs down; they charge extra for everything possible. Oddly enough, they are also one of the few airlines to make consistent profits. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 18th 2017 No: 3 Msg: #200978  
B Posts: 287
Badly behaving passengers aside, I wonder if there has been a study done on the effects of high altitude. It seems that rarely, it triggers some kind of psychotic break or episode. Perhaps fueled by alcohol or illicit drugs. On a recent Canadian flight, a married man of 5 children started freaking out and grabbed two full coffee pots and threatening to scald the attendant and passengers. He made threats that he would take everyone with him and attempted to open the door of the plane. I know there will be the argument that planes are pressurized so there should be no issues, but even I, when flying, experience symptoms that feel like altitude sickness. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 24th 2017 No: 4 Msg: #201073  
This is a great question that evokes plenty of emotion in me so I'm certain this answer will be too long and for that I apologize.

Rage does seem to be on the rise.

Because I fly a lot for both business and travel I've given this topic far too much thought. It may have even become an obsession. This is a complex issue that will not be solved any time soon.

In the old days flying was unique and special, people dressed up for the flight and behaved their best. Flight attendants were originally nurses and their role has always been customer safety. These days I doubt people think about flight attendants being on board for their safety....this was not intended to be a tea party. In those days a nice meal was served on real plates with real silverware. Ah...those were the days.
I think they should start by cutting people off who have had much to alcohol. We're not at a frat party.

We live in a capitalist world where often success is measured by $$$ signs.

Being a frequent flyer I have had first hand experience with rude passengers who bark at people for no reason. Passengers who don't abide by the airline rules ... luggage, phone and other nonsense. Passengers who sit in the wrong seat, move slowly during the boarding process and are basically just annoying if not hateful.

Over the years I've had a few negative interactions with hateful, unprofessional flight attendants. I will go on the record to say this is not a job I would ever sign up for due to the paragraph above but I will remind you that they did ask for this job and they said yes. This is a customer service job. The perfect flight attendant is incredibly patient and a bit perky. Certainly if your experience has been similar to mine then you can state the airlines have found a shortage of those personality types to hire.
One night I was on an overnight flight coast to coast and around 5am I asked for a cup of coffee. The flight attendant must have had a bad night while I was attempting to sleep because she became completely unglued with me. Yelling at me saying that people kept putting their lights on. Ah, well...yeah,.... that might happen in this job. I'm certain she had just had tragedy in her personal life as she was snarky.
I thought about that interaction for a long time and moving forward I am sweet, sickening nice to all flight attendants. Plus it is shelf preservation because I don't want to get yelled at again.

I fill out lots of airline feedback surveys giving compliments and identifying opportunities for improvement.

Flying is a bit of a cattle call these days. Fees for this fees for that. Less leg room and narrow seats. Customers feel like a burden rather than a customer. Communication on issues cause more stress. Gate staff whispering, the flight not boarding and little communication on the issue or delay. (although they have been a bit better recently) I think the general customer feels like the airlines have taken and taken and taken. Broken equipment...etc.

I think we need professional mediators on board to communicate between flight staff and passengers to get us safely and calmly to our next destination.


Years ago I was flying out of LA at Christmas back to Ohio to be with my family. At my gate they announced they needed volunteers because the flight was over sold -- 31 volunteers-- yes 31 on one flight (at the holidays) What were they thinking? A riot just about broke out. Common sense needs to prevail in all business but especially the airline industry.


According to CNN money the airlines are making profits. airline profits. If this article is even half way correct in their data then they should start treating everyone a touch better.

My closing comment is if you want to be a flight attendant you should like people, you should have some customer service skills and understand you will be expected to talk with those people boarding the plane and that you should be nice to them.
Yes, the travelers should be nice too but they've paid a lot of money to fly. (no excuse for rudeness)

PEOPLE JUST BE NICE!!
Reply to this

3 years ago, May 24th 2017 No: 5 Msg: #201075  
B Posts: 1,990
In response to: Msg #201073
I have encountered only one US airline that treats low fare travelers as actual customers instead of some burden they put up with to get those on full fare and premium tickets: Southwest. They have always treated me well, even when flights were cancelled, and I suspect they suffer far less air rage as a result. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 24th 2017 No: 6 Msg: #201081  
B Posts: 287
In response to: Msg #200978 turns out the Canadian married man of 5 did cocaine prior to boarding his flight. So my theory feels validated. Lol Reply to this

3 years ago, May 24th 2017 No: 7 Msg: #201082  
B Posts: 287
In response to: Msg #201073 Great thoughts on this topic MJ! I can tell you've thought about this as much as you have obviously! Nothing better to do in a longhaul. In your medical field so you know if any studies re: altitude psychosis?

Reply to this

3 years ago, May 25th 2017 No: 8 Msg: #201088  
B Posts: 1,299
In response to: Msg #201082 I love your theory on 'altitude psychosis' 😊

On the surface I think it's a combination of people feeling badly treated by airlines and not getting what they paid for, and then airline staff on the frontline having to bear the brunt of this anger (with themselves being pushed to their limits).

With a broader view though, I think the increase in air rage is a reflection of what I see as a general increase in rudeness and entitled behaviour in the world. The bar for what's considered acceptable public behaviour has been considerably lowered. I'm not saying there are more rude idiots around than before, I think they just don't feel they have to check themselves as much as they would have in the past. Certain social media apps, certain media outlets and certain world leaders are creating a new normal... Reply to this

3 years ago, May 26th 2017 No: 9 Msg: #201100  
In response to: Msg #201088

Ren, I like your broader view and had not thought of it in those terms but you have described it well. It is sad really.

Last night on our flight LAX to Orlando which ended up being 3 hours late tensions were high and all the crazies were out. The lady sitting across the isle from me went crazy when she boarded the plane and found the luggage storage above her seat full. I suspect she does not fly often as she became agitated and loudly saying this was her space over her seat and everyone had to take their things out of "her " space. She began removing bags. Things were tense for a couple of minutes. The flight attendant instructed her to use the one next to her which she refused to do some someone volunteered to move their bag. A nice thing to do but once again bad behavior rewarded. She also refused to sit in the middle seat which was assigned to her and made some one else sit there. They weren't happy about it but did it to keep the peace.

The airline staff was excellent last night.

Reply to this

3 years ago, May 26th 2017 No: 10 Msg: #201102  
B Posts: 287
Once while travelling back from Mexico with my Mum, I reserved the aisle seat and Mum had the window, as you do. Darn it though, full flight. Our middle seat companion was last to board the plane, I could hear her before I saw her, she was yelling into a cell phone and bonking people in the head with her excessive amounts of carry on, her flowy maxi dress catching on everything down the aisle while the flight attendants tried to expedite her, so we could depart.

She made a face when she realized she was the middle, and kicked up such a fuss for my seat that I found myself being pleaded with by the crew. I was boiling mad but agreed. She then demanded a double gin and tonic - denied. Mum agreed to sit next to her as she knew I would probably lose my shit sitting next to her. I settled into the window seat and put my earbuds in with the intent of ignoring her for 4 hours, but as we took off, my Mum elbowed me and I looked over to see this woman rifling through her gigantic purse, she had rolls of American 100s, I mean wads of them. All tied off with multicoloured scrunchies. Mum and I exchanged a knowingly looks. Mum then elbowed me again to see this woman downing a multitude of prescription pills. Handfuls. She started pressing the attendant call button once we leveled out. They brought her drinks until they finally cut her off.

She then started flirting with a guy two rows back who agreed to sell her his duty free. They started doing shots of the stuff in coffee cups. Flight attendants oblivious. I fell asleep only to be woken by a scene from the Exorcist.

The woman was now projectile puking and shrieking. Her vomit was hitting people three rows ahead, my Mum and this woman were covered. I lost my mind. I crawled over the back of my seat stepping on armrests to get to the aisle, then helped my mother over the woman who was now rocking and moaning and talking in tongues. People around us were dry heaving and freaking out. The flight attendants were amazing, cleaning everything up and dealing with the idiot that gave her booze. My Mum and I sat in jump seats at the back of the plane until landing. We returned to our seats and she was passed out cold.

The woman was removed from the plane first, a few people clapped. At Customs, I saw her whizzed by in a wheelchair and dumped off at the exit doors. I was shocked when I saw her jump to her feet, and strut out of the terminal. I swear she turned around and winked at me. All her rolls of money hadn't been detected, I guess the customs officers were so grossed out by her dress covered in cold sick, they just waved her through.

Mum and I realized right then it had all been a rouse. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 26th 2017 No: 11 Msg: #201103  
In response to: Msg #201102

Wow-- what a story. Unbelievable what people will do. Guess this method has worked in the past to help her get her money in the country. How miserable for you and your mother.

I do believe eventually she will get hers but how many people will suffer until that time. Reply to this

3 years ago, May 31st 2017 No: 12 Msg: #201145  
I HATE air travel, but it is a necessary evil. In my experience, the issue is other passengers more than air stewards. I've yet to come across a single airline steward that hasn't been polite or helpful. It probably helps that I\we are unfailingly polite at all times, after all, they are the ones who serve you booze on long haul flights. We've been given bottles and bottles of those little wines on flights in the past by crew as we've been polite. I'm talking about asking nicely a few times and being given around 12 bottles in one go. Don't remember much about it afterwards though! ;-)

Anyway, I get very angry and frustrated on flights due to passengers with more than one bag or bags that are obviously too big, people playing videos, games, music or having phone conversations through the speaker (when did that ever become acceptable?) or just having no consideration for their fellow passengers. Don't talk to me about reclining seats! I've completely given up on getting my little travel bag in an overhead locker now, it goes under the seat in front, despite it giving me less legroom...and don't get me started on reclining seats.

As I'm British I obviously keep all my feelings to myself and only share them with my closest friends and just huff and puff and sigh at the time. I can understand that some people may just go off and in this world of instant technology, it will be reported straight away. I'm not sure if there are more incidents these days, maybe just more reported and are more interesting as a news item as it is usually filmed. Either way, train and bus travel is a much more pleasurable travelling experience, just don't mention reclining seats. Reply to this

3 years ago, July 13th 2017 No: 13 Msg: #201688  
I am confused about that. Reply to this

34 months ago, September 22nd 2017 No: 14 Msg: #202403  
Recently we've been around several passengers who talk from the time they get on the plane until they are FORCED to turn off the cell phones. I really want to look at them and ask them what is wrong with them. And... they seem to talk loud so we can hear everything they have to say.

I find this annoying and I understand air rage a bit better. Reply to this

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