Why Do Some People Get Plane Rage?
28 May 2014
We’ve all been there – you’re on a plane and the kid behind you is kicking your chair, or your fellow passenger next to you steals the arm rest. Packing a few hundred people into a small space for a few hours is sure to cause some annoyance. But what are the main gripes that air travellers have?
The major players
A Trip Advisor survey found that common causes for irritation were not enough legroom, long airport queues and, of course, other passengers. This could be the person next to you with their headphones up too loud, strangers who tell you their life’s story – and children. Any type. Anywhere.
When it comes to business travellers, a Global Business Travel Association survey of over 500 people found that disruptions caused by weather, departure delays, missed connections and mechanical problems were some of the biggest flying issues. Virtual meeting company Verizon did a similar survey and found some of the main reasons for stress on a business trip came from being away from family and thinking about the work piling up back in the office.
Why do we get plane rage?
Sometimes alcohol comes into the picture. Flighthealth.org said that about 25% of “extreme misbehaviour by passengers on aircrafts” can be attributed to intoxication.
However, the majority of such incidents are caused simply through our body’s reaction to stress, and on airplanes there can be a lot of this. The small space, cabin pressure and perceived lack of control on an airplane all get our adrenalin and noradrenalin pumping, so we’re more likely to do something silly.
The bad news for business travellers is that all this stress and worry has a negative effect on their productivity. A 2013 study compared the stress and fatigue levels between a group who travelled and a group who stayed at their desk job. With heart monitors attached, the travellers showed dramatically higher stress levels and fatigue – which led to a reduction in mental capacity and tolerance levels. Of course, when we’re less tolerant we become stressed more easily and become even more tired!
The good news is that little things like proper planning, leaving lots of leeway between appointments, being well rested, fed and watered, and having a beautiful hotel to look forward to on your arrival can make you feel a whole lot better.