Airline travel gets more stressful

[September 1st 2008]

Air rage

Airline travel is getting more stressful and air rage increasing as passengers become more irritated about flight delays, airport queues and extra security a new survey has found.

Almost three quarters - 73% - of people questioned for the survey said that fellow airline passengers have become ruder in recent years. And the growing stress of airline travel and the airport experience appears to be the main contributor.

In the research by flight, hotel and car hire search company, 41% of respondents blamed long airport queues, cancelled or delayed flights and disruptive security measures as the primary causes of increased rudeness among fellow airline passengers. A general decline in politeness in UK culture was identified by 39% as the main reason for UK air rage.

The emergence of low cost airlines also appears to be increasing stress levels. The 'free for all' seating policies of budget airlines have created more of a 'me first' culture say 10% of respondents. Another 8% say that holidaymakers are simply more stressed nowadays because of all the pressures of modern life.

When it comes to their in-flight experience passengers have a long list of things that cause them stress. The biggest complaint is about screaming babies (29%) on flights, followed by sitting between two overweight passengers (24%), and sitting next to someone with bad body odour (16%).

Being treated badly by cabin crew causes air rage for 13% of respondents, but only 2% objected to sitting next to a chatty neighbour, and perhaps most surprisingly only 1.5% said that the quality of airline meals made them see red.

The survey also looked at airline etiquette and found that 76% agree passengers should not spend more than five minutes in the aircraft toilet and that kids should be told not to stop kicking seats from behind. But Brits are clearly getting more relaxed about some things, as 40% said they felt it was OK to join the mile high club on a flight.

How to put a smile on the face of fellow passengers was also examined by the survey. Offering to swap seats made 36% of respondents happy, followed by helping someone with their luggage (27%), and daydreaming about making a love connection with a fellow traveller (19%).

Written by: Nick Purdom


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Airline Travel Gets More Stressful