Thursday, October 13, 2005

Air Rage

While reading online this morning, I came across Two Edged Sword, written by Lee, a pastor from South Dakota.  He describes a couple of adventures in traveling that he experienced, while on vacation, in a post titled Air Rage.
I am including his post, in its entirety, here.  I regret that he had these experiences while on his vacation.  Unfortunately they are all too common.  I also regret that flight attendants have to put up with the every single day they go to work. 

Air Rage


I am currently on vacation, and that is why this page has not had any updates recently, but I thought I should take a few seconds to comment on the recent Air Rage epidemic. Air Rage of course is Road Rage for those in air travel.
I recently flew a series of flights from Bismarck, ND to Knoxville, TN and witnessed at least two such events myself. One incident had a stewardess spend no less than 3 minutes arguing with a passenger to return his seat to an upright position for landing. It is a standard rule to straighten your seat back when the plane is about to land, but this passenger would not comply. They argued rather loudly for an extended period of time, and I did not get to see who won. The reason, for those of you who are wondering, that one must return the seat to an upright position is because if the plane crashes, the seat my block those in the rows behind you from being able to exit quickly.

The second incident involved my spilling a drink. I spilt my coke, and the lady next to me and I received the lion’s share of the drink. We dried off as best we could and the seat as well, but apparently some dripped in-between the seats and onto the floor. This angered the passenger behind me because his carry-on item received a few drops of coke. I did not immediately notice his anger, but it was brought to my attention later. I apologized while the plane taxied to gate, and he refused to accept my apology. Only after his wife pleaded with him and repeatedly told me it is okay, did I even get anything remotely related to an acceptance of my apology.

A shocking third incident occurred a week later when my 80 year old grandmother flew from Jackson, MS to Knoxville, TN and a fellow passenger took her seat. My grandmother was in row 3, near the front on the aisle, and in need of making a quick connection. Her plane was already 50 minutes late. Some man who had a seat in the back, row 12 next to the window, took her seat, and did not let her sit down when confronted. His reason? He had to get off the plane quickly, and did not want to wait. My grandmother eventually took his seat in the back. Yet, the stewardess found out, and tried to make the man move, and he still would not relinquish his stolen seat.

The only possible explanation for such amazing acts of selfishness, and rudeness is Air Rage. Perhaps it is transmitted like the Bird Flu, but no matter what it appears to be everywhere. I will be flying home soon, and I am sure to run into more.

Until then let everyone be warned. If you are flying the biggest trouble you will probably face is from someone next to you.


Technorati Tags : Flight Attendants, Stewardess, Travel, Airlines




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Traytable said...

It seems that the majority of people these days check their brains and manners into the hold along with their bags!!! :o

Graham Smith said...

Do people who refuse to comply with reasonable requests made by airline staff (such as to put the seat back into the required position before landing, return to their own seat, stop smoking in the toilet, etc.) think their behaviour will simply be ignored?

Do they not realise that adverse reports by flight attendants are starting to be logged into the airline's computer systems so that individual passengers can be identified with a view to blacklisting them?

Fly Girl said...

I've come to realize that all too many people don't think about their behavior (or how it impacts others) at all. They seem to be too wrapped up in themselves -- the "it's all about me" syndrome.

Unfortunately, a very sad commentary on our world view.