Do you often wonder why some people get irritated or misbehave on flights without any apparent reason? Well, it is not because of long hours or poor leg space, but because of on-board class differences, finds a new study.
Researchers from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Harvard Business School found that it was the presence of a first-class cabin on-board 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.
Other factors that fuelled bad behaviour 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 on-board 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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