Written by Stephanie Rosenbloom.
Why do some travelers squabble about overhead bin space? Or feud over an armrest? Why, when a passenger reclines his seat, does another respond with rage befitting the pages of “Lord of the Flies”?
What makes rational travelers like you and me suddenly explode?
Some factors are environmental (packed planes, teeming gates); others are internal (stress, fatigue). Together, they can make a perfect storm. Last month at least three flights were diverted because passengers got into fights about reclining seats (and that’s to say nothing of the other unruly passenger incidents that regularly transpire). While the percentage of flights diverted each year is low — it’s been well under 0.40 percent since at least 2004, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics — even a handful of diversions due to passengers who can’t play nice is too many. We may be animals, but need we prove it on a flight to West Palm Beach?
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