A new scientific study reveals that air rage is much more likely on airplanes where inequality is obvious -- that is, airplanes where there's economy and first class sections. The University of Toronto researchers published their results in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. From CNN:
It found that passengers in economy seating were 3.84 times more likely to have an incident of air rage if they were on a plane that had a first-class section. They were 2.18 times more likely to have an outburst if they had to walk through first class to board the plane, as opposed to boarding in the middle of the plane, directly into the economy section....
"Psychology (research) tells us that when people feel a sense of deprivation and inequality, they are more likely to act out," said Katherine A. DeCelles, associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of Toronto....
There was also a nearly 12-fold increase in the rate of air rage among first-class passengers on flights where all passengers boarded through the first-class section, compared with flights that had separate entrances for first class and economy.
"When people from higher social class backgrounds are more aware of their higher status, they are more likely to be antisocial, to have entitled attitudes and to be less compassionate," DeCelles said.
"Air rage triggered by walking past first-class seating, study says" (CNN) Read the rest
Authors of a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America titled "Physical and situational inequality on airplanes predicts air rage", found that air rage occurs more frequently on planes that have fist class cabins, and especially on planes where coach passengers board by walking through the first class cabin.
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The study, by DeCelles, who is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, analyzed thousands of flights on a large international airline over several years and found that not only were incidents in economy more likely if there was a first class cabin, and more so if economy passengers had to walk through it — but incidents were also more likely in first class itself.
In other words, class inequality stresses everyone out, the study found.
"Physical design that highlights inequality can trigger antisocial behavior on airplanes," the researchers wrote.
The "antisocial behavior" they're referring to includes the types of behavior in the many, many incidents that have made headlines as of late, like when a woman threw a glass of water on a passenger when he prevented her seat from reclining, or when two women brawled mid-flight because of a crying baby, or when a grown man choked another passenger after she reclined her seat, or — you get the picture.
They're calling Jasbir Singh Bharaj the "Worst ever" air rage passenger. He was given 11 months in prison for his drunken tantrum on a flight from Dubai to Birmingham, UK.
The judge who handed down the sentence spared no harsh words for Mr. Bharaj:
"On the Emirates flight you drank vodka mixed with wine and then proceeded to abuse cabin staff.
"You demanded more alcohol and swore repeatedly even though there were four young children behind you who had to listen to your tirade.
"You told a female member of cabin crew that if she were on the ground you would punch her in the face. And in a particularly grotesque piece of behaviour you dipped your fingers in your glass of wine and rubbed them on your private parts.
"The air hostess felt abused and disgusted after seeing you touch yourself in such a sexually explicit way.
"You shouted 'fucking Muslims - send them back to where they came from' and 'fucking ISIS'.
"When you landed you were abusive to police and bit PC Ingram on the arm.
"People need to know that if you get drunk on an airplane, upset other passengers and cause cabin crew to have a difficult job then custodial sentences apply.
"You have many previous convictions and it seems you will not learn your lesson."
Mr. Bharaj certainly behaved in a more shameful manner than the daughter of a Korean Air exec who exploded with rage when she was served nuts in a manner not to her liking and ordered the plane turned around. Read the rest