Air rage incidents on the rise
Last Updated: 314 days ago
Denver - From the man who was so unruly that he had to be duct taped to his seat, to the woman escorted off a JetBlue flight in Denver Thursday, so called cases of "air rage" are on the rise.
The International Air Transport Association reported cases of unruly passengers, worldwide, rose 29% between 2009 and 2010.
In Thursday's incident, the JetBlue flight was diverted to Denver after a woman onboard picked a fight with a flight attendant. The woman was apparently upset because the passenger next to her apparently didn't pay to be in a premium seat.
"She was screaming 'my dad's CIA, you guys don't know. Arrest me if you want,'" said one passenger."She thought she was a hot shot."
Air travel experts blame the trend of unruly passengers on the growing stress of air travel.
"It has become a much more rigorous, less glamorous experience," said author Andrew Thomas.
Thomas has authored several books on air travel. He said passengers are becoming stressed by a perfect storm of overcrowded planes, daunting airport security and rising airline fees. Airline fees alone rose 11% in 2012.
Between passenger inconvenience and fuel prices, flight diversions are costly for airlines. Thomas said they're happening more, in part, because pilots can no longer leave the cockpit to diffuse a situation like they could before 9/11.
"Now, if the flight attendant believes that the situation is escalating and might get out of control the pilot is more likely, because they don't know what's going on except from what they're receiving from the flight attendant, to take that advice and put it on the ground," Thomas said.
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