Wednesday, October 12, 2005

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.


Fly Girl said...

As a flight attendant, I deal with this every day when I go to work. It's very sad to see the selfishness and self-absorption of some people.

The good news in all this, is the passengers who appreciate what we do and let us know that. It makes our day.

neocovenanter said...

The sinful nature of man manifests itself in so many ways. Even for people who can't see total depravity in their own hearts, it sure is externally demonstrated when you put a large number of people in a confined space like an airplane.

Somewhat offtopic, I appreciated you posts regarding FV and NPP. I think I will bookmark you.

John Luke said...

Reminds me of the years, decades, actually, when I had to fly across the country several times each month.

I saw a lot of the sort of thing you write of, and the lesson I learned was that a little humility in a crowded plane goes a long way. The other lesson, related to the first, is that the cabin crews work really hard and don't really need my sense of self-importance added to their workload.

It's probably a very good thing we're not allowed to carry weapons on board...

Lee said...

I have to say that this trip helped me gain an appreciation for the Flight Crew. I do not have the patience to deal with that everyday.

Thanks for the kind words, and the bookmark. I hope you enjoy the reading!

Daniel Nicolas said...

I say you can be the most egotistical person in the world and still be a nice person.

More of a "I am better than you so I do the right thing." rather than a "I am better than you, get out of my way."

Of course, if everyone was kind considerate people who followed the rules and played nice....