Long gone are the days when air travel meant a few quiet hours to relax with a good book or in-flight movie en route to somewhere new and exciting. Even longer gone are the days of not having to worry about hidden fees, unexpected fiascos, invasive security measures, and hours wasted on the tarmac. Let’s face it: airline travel has changed exponentially in the last decade, and not for the better, that it’s no wonder that many passengers and crew have experienced an increase in stress and impatience.
Has bad airplane behavior reached critical mass? Since February, half a dozen preposterous stories about passengers behaving inappropriately have surfaced all over North America. Everything from indecent exposure, anti-Semitic outbursts, physical violence, and marijuana cookie-induced fights all made headlines.
Latest in the string of unruly events is an incident that occurred on a Southwest flight from Phoenix to Las Vegas on March 21. According to the Arizona Republic, things got nasty when a female passenger reached back to grab the three-year-old child kicking the back of her seat. She is reported as saying, “You’re not going to be kicking my seat all the way to Las Vegas.” The article goes on to say that the woman then shook the boy before slamming him back onto his seat. Needless to say, the mother is pressing assault charges and the Phoenix police have their hands full attempting to gather witnesses.
Surprisingly, though recent headlines beg to differ, passenger satisfaction with the airline industry rose 3.2 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, warranting the question: does bad press further agitate both passengers and crew onboard domestic flights, or is it simply a matter of an individual’s everyday stress boiling over in light of new rules and regulations?
Either way, looks like the majority of us could benefit from taking the “Jetiquette Pledge” which hopes to unite “civilized travelers” and “bring back the golden age of travel.” Check out dearskysteward.com for more info.
photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons/Kashif Mardani