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Research shows in-flight air rage is a result of onboard class differences

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 19/01/2017
Class inequality aside, this kid is way out of line. © Oktay Ortakcioglu/Vetta/Getty Images Class inequality aside, this kid is way out of line.

A new study into air rage has found a surprising reason behind it, with researchers blaming onboard class inequality as to why we lose our cool when we take flight.

Despite common beliefs that it is flight delays, lack of leg room, and a general decline in manners that cause us to lose our cool, researchers from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and Harvard Business School actually found that it was the presence of a first-class cabin onboard that caused air rage incidents to increase, by nearly four times as much, equivalent to the effect of a nine-hour flight delay.

According to the researchers, the fact of economy passengers having to pass through first class to get to their seats reinforced the feeling of inequality, but air rage incidents were higher for not only economy passengers but also first-class flyers.

De-emphasising onboard differences in equality between first-class and economy passengers could reduce air rage incidents and make for a more relaxing flight. © Provided by AFPRelaxNews De-emphasising onboard differences in equality between first-class and economy passengers could reduce air rage incidents and make for a more relaxing flight.

Other factors that fueled bad behavior included crowdedness, alcohol consumption and long flights, although their influence wasn't as great as expected.

The team now suggests that airlines who want to minimize onboard disruptions may want to de-emphasize differences between different passenger groups, which are currently enforced by methods such as a dual gating system.



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