Is the Tension Higher in the Air?

Posted November 30, 2017

Since 2017 began, there has been an increase in publicized airline rage. From girls being told they could not board based off of their apparel to the infamous doctor incident, brawls in the cabin, and even an irate flight attendant. It would seem that tension on airplanes is higher than ever- however, it truly isn’t.

The Department of Transportation tracks each customer complaint it receives and these complaints are down more than 11%! So what is going on once you’re all boarded the plane and fighting over the overhead space?

Personal Problems

As Americans, we are busier than ever and have even more to stress out about because of it. Once on the plane, these personal stressors begin to affect passengers as their amount of personal space decreases once they have boarded the plane. So, you now have a very stressed out passenger who is now more territorial than ever due to the amount of space between them and the passenger in front of them. When you take all of these stressors, and when a flight attendant asks said passenger not to do something, they are more likely to lose it and become irate, resulting in the passenger needing to leave the plane.

Pro-Tip: Before you board a plane it is best to do some meditation if you are experiencing stressors in your life. Boarding as stress-free as possible will ensure that you will not snap on your fellow passenger or flight attendant. Happy flying!

Let’s Fight the System: Social Media

Let’s face it, everyone has a smartphone these days, and a significant percent of those smartphone owners would love to post a viral video that suddenly got them interviews on Good Morning America. This is why you may have noticed an influx of disgruntled airline videos in the mainstream media.

Social media gives people a chance to go against the system, and so in turn, some passengers will look for these events to record and then upload across various social media channels. Because of this, the general public is seeing even the slightest incident as a preposterous event in which the airline itself is completely wrong- even when they may not even be at fault. Due to the increase of these videos, you may notice flight attendants are a little more uneasy when you board a plane. They are hoping everything goes smoothly, so a video of them enforcing policies to an irate passenger doesn’t surface, and they receive criticism. Unfortunately, no matter how much they try, they will not be able to let go of this fear until we are living in a less social media dependent world.

Pro-Tip: Try to be understanding. Before you pull out your phone the next time a passenger is removed from a flight citing that the airline was in the wrong, try to figure out the whole story. Remember that a flight attendant’s number one responsibility is safety and would you want to be publically criticized for doing your job?

What’s Next for Airlines

Due to the events that have already become publicized, many airlines are already looking at their policies to ensure that they do not find themselves in a scandal. United CEO Oscar Munoz, even apologized for the doctor dragged through the cabin and has begun reworking United’s policies to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again. So what can you, a passenger, expect? As airlines begin revising policies, you may notice things being done a little differently. When it comes to the volunteer system for giving up your seat, you may see the policy be enforced differently, perhaps before everyone is already on the plane. It may be harder to get that last minute ticket to paradise because instead of overbooking a flight, an airline is underbooking to ensure that they do not have to ask passengers to give up their seats. The airline industry is truly about to change, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!


In conclusion, the tensions truly aren’t increasing in the cabin or when boarding because of policy changes or irate airline staff. It just seems that way because of the mass and social media exposure these events are now seeing. As a passenger, it is best to arrive at the airport stress-free and for you to remain calm during boarding so that we can keep the cabin a productive and cheerful environment.