Why There Are So Many Passenger Incidents On Planes, And Why It’s Going To Get Worse?

The number of passenger incidents on planes has been steadily growing for years. Recent incidents have sparked a lot of discussion on the safety of commercial air travel. In recent years, there have been a number of highly publicized incidents of airline passengers behaving badly and even threatening those around them. What does this mean for the future of aviation?


In the beginning, it was all about being on time. Flights would be delayed, but since it was not your flight, you didn’t care. As a passenger, you would arrive at the airport at least three hours before your flight departed. This gave you enough time to get through security, get a nice seat, have a bite to eat, and hydrate.


The plane would leave on time and everything would be fine. Of course, things changed. It is now the norm that people board planes 30-60 minutes before a flight departs. This is because the latest aircraft is so big and people are so impatient, that it takes longer to get the aircraft to the runway. The current trend is about the 50-minute mark. Airlines


The number of passenger incidents on planes has been steadily growing for years. As one of my fellow writers, Alex Mensing, wrote, “The number of incidents, injuries, and deaths involving air travel has been rising for decades, but the last decade has seen a dramatic spike.”


The reasons for this are complex, but the most obvious one is that a growing number of people—including children—are flying repeatedly, without any preparation, on an aging fleet of planes. Read more about a disruptive passenger on the plane and let us know what you think.

Why There Are So Many Passenger Incidents On Planes, And Why It’s Going To Get Worse


Why There Are So Many Passenger Incidents On Planes, And Why It’s Going To Get Worse

by Gary Leff on May 26, 2021 The FAA usually sees 100 – 150 cases of bad inflight behavior filed with them each year. Already this year there have been 2500, 1900 of which have to deal with refusal to wear a mask. Most inflight disturbances don’t make it to the FAA.


We’ve seen a real increase in inflight conflicts, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. There are generally five reasons why we’re heading towards a new peak.


More passengers = more incidents. Air travel is recovering, there are more people in the sky than there have been since before the pandemic. Sheer numbers make it more likely we’ll see more disturbances as passenger volumes stretch toward 1.9 million per day in the U.S.


Fewer business travelers mean a greater percentage of passengers are likely to have issues There are fewer experienced passengers on board who are dead-end against drama, the person sitting next to a first-time flyer is more likely than ever to be a first-time flyer.


Distrust of elites and experts. The same broader social issues that manifest themselves in electoral polarization get brought on board the plane. Experts have largely failed us during the pandemic, and their advice has been inconsistent.


We were told not to wear masks before being told to wear them. Somehow taking off the mask has become a symbol of standing up for ones’ self against the tyranny of rule by experts who are increasingly seen as flawed.


Increased vaccination rates. More and more people see themselves as no longer needing to wear a mask since evidence suggests strongly that recipients of mRNA vaccines are both unlikely to get or spread the virus (and for those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, that’s largely a decision they’re making for themselves and shouldn’t impose costs on others for it).


This is doubly the case now that the CDC even says vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors in crowded bars, yet rules for masking during travel remain in place. This also reinforces skepticism about ‘experts’ and whether rules rely on science.


The politicization of masks is in the wrong direction. Masks should have been the conservative alternative to big government lockdowns. Instead, they became a political flash point of government ‘control’. People who feel powerless lash out in whatever way they can.


With more leisure travelers than ever and a greater proportion of first-time travelers, every airline’s passengers are Spirit Airlines passengers now. Throw people together from various backgrounds and with their own life issues inside a metal tube and give them a requirement that isn’t obviously benefiting them at the end of 15 months of frustration and deprivation and we inevitably see conflict.


Passenger Incidents

As people continue to get vaccinated, as virus caseloads and hospitalizations continue to fall, more and more people will see less and less reason to mask up in the face of requirements to do so that seems to no longer be backed by the science or at least consistent with other CDC pronouncements. And masks have become an outlet for political protest. So we’re going to see more mask incidents on planes until the requirement is finally lifted.


More From View from the Wing

Read more about disruptive passenger incidents and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are airline passengers so angry?

Air travel is a great way to travel, but it is not without its hazards. Most passengers are perfectly fine with having their seats reclined, their drinks offered in individual containers instead of in big, free-flowing pitchers, and the ability to play their own music (even if they’re not happy with it). But what most passengers are not fine with are the instances of rudeness that continue to happen in every region of the world on a regular basis.


When you fly, it’s a good idea to keep an open mind about the environment you’ll be in. Passengers have been known to get offended when they’re delayed, and there are countless other examples of frustration and anger on flights across the world.


As one of the largest global industries within the travel industry, airlines are a money-making machine, and every penny counts. However, passengers have always been there to create problems for airlines. Sometimes, the problem is an angry passenger, but other times it’s a disruptive passenger.


Which airlines have had the most accidents?

The truth is that most of the time, planes are not that dangerous. They are a miracle of modern engineering, and when looked at as a whole, they are actually not that dangerous. Planes are designed to keep things from crashing into each other, and the idea of crashes is so foreign to most travelers that many people believe that planes are so safe that there is no way it can go wrong.


But many things can go wrong, and it is important to understand how they can go wrong. Planes are the safest way to travel, especially if you’re a business person or a parent with young children. But with every flight, there is a chance that something will go wrong. From a little turbulence to a crashed engine, it is inevitable that a plane will have a mishap, but it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s a great way to make money.


Are flight attendants allowed to touch you?

Ever wonder why flight attendants have to ask you to take off your shoes and belt before boarding a plane? Or why do they ask you to turn your phone off before the flight? Or why do they do your seatbelt for you? Or why do they take your drinks off of the tray table and put them in your own seat tray? Or why do they take your pillows away and put the blankets over you?


Why is it okay for them to touch you? With most airlines having passed the 10,000 flight attendant incident mark, the question quickly arose: what’s the average number of reported incidents per month? The answer: Among the 30 airlines that responded to our survey, the average was 75 incidents per month. That’s more than 1,000 incidents per year—and far more than the experts say is safe.



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