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TinotopiaLog → Air Rage, From The Other Direction, Part II (20 Jan 2003)
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Monday 20 January 2003

Air Rage, From The Other Direction, Part II

The Wall Street Journal had a story recently about “air rage” on the part of airline staff. (Link requires paid subscription. Someone has re-posted it here and here.) This echoes some observations made here a few months ago. The Journal has some specific examples:

How bad is it? In one widely reported case, an American pilot went so far as to throw a balky steward off the plane. According to an airline spokesman, the attendant started “exhibiting rude behavior” so badly the pilot had to make an emergency stop in Dallas. (Both the airline and the flight attendants’ union declined to comment further.) In another case, Josh Holdeman says he couldn’t believe it when a stewardess turned him down for pretzels — and told him to watch his waistline. “I’m still furious,” says the New York art expert, adding he works out three times a week. (The airline, which happened to be American, says his experience was “very unfortunate.”)

The Journal article carries a sidebar that’s not included in the re-posted versions, headed ‘What’s an Airline to Do?’ Here are some of the suggestions, without the Journal’s commentary:

  • Toss the food carts

  • Better seat, bigger price

  • Less booze

So, to correct this problem of airline employees abusing passengers, airlines should provide generally less service while at the same time raising their prices.

Hey, weren’t we told that the cause of passenger air rage was that fares were so low that yobs were flying more, and that people were drinking too much? The airlines are so anxious to raise prices and lower the standard of service that they come up with that response no matter what the problem is.

Does no one notice that Southwest, with its cheap fares, booze the same price as all other airlines, and, most importantly, non-union, non-career cabin crews doesn’t have a big air-rage problem?

Posted by tino at 18:59 20.01.03
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You failed to point out that the article points out that all these problems will end and flying will be enjoyable again once “travelers start returning and airlines start posting profits.”

I mean that must be why Southwest is a nice airline to fly…they make money.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at January 20, 2003 09:41 PM