What is it that makes some people misbehave on a plane? The alcohol? Perhaps, but not everybody drinks. The different air pressure? The sense of claustrophobia?
Whatever the reason, “air rage” is an increasingly common occurrence, and something that cabin crew and the rest of us who just want to get where we’re going really don’t need to deal with.
In the latest incident, a passenger on an Emirates airlines flight was arrested for allegedly attacking crew members on a flight from Dublin to London. The man had to be restrained and three rows of seats had to be cleared. Other passengers said they were frightened by the incident and concerned both for the crew and the man himself, who is now facing court in London.
The case is not unusual. Similar incidents are reported every few weeks, and it is clear that others, of a relatively minor nature, go unreported.
I suppose the very unnatural nature of flying triggers many of these incidents. But so, too, I would argue, is a general breakdown in standards of behaviour.
Like children having tantrums, many adults no longer feel inhibited about the way they act in public, be it in a shopping mall or on an airplane.
We’ve all had our moments when it just gets too much, but for may people the trigger event can be extremely minor. Can’t find what you want on the supermarket shelves? Well, just yell at the nearest shop employee.
Yelling is one thing but, too often these days, many people stoop to physical violence.
The problem when we’re flying at 30,000 feet is that the potential consequences of bad behaviour are so much greater. And that’s why we should all support action of the airlines and other authorities to minimise these events and punish the offenders.