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Yet another reason to hate first class

Things that make you go, hmm. Picture: PassengerShaming.com

FINALLY, could this explain why people seem to lose their cool with disturbing frequency once they step on-board a plane?

A new study published in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences points to a sense of inequality being behind many cases of air rage.

Because passengers were found to be 2.18 times more likely to have an outburst if they were forced to walk through first class in order to get to their seats, instead of boarding straight into the economy section, which is usually in the middle.

“The modern plane is a social microcosm of class-based society, and that the increasing incidence of ‘air rage’ can be understood through the lens of inequality,” the study authors Katherine DeCelles, an associate professor of organisational behaviour at the University of Toronto, and Michael Norton, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in Massachusetts, wrote.

And that sense of unfairness can lead to people lashing out.

“Psychology (research) tells us that when people feel a sense of deprivation and inequality, they are more likely to act out,” Prof DeCelles said.

Even more concerning was the finding of a 12-fold increase of air rage among first class flyers in situations where economy passengers also boarded in the first class section.

“When people from higher social class backgrounds are more aware of their higher status, they are more likely to be anti-social, to have entitled attitudes and to be less compassionate,” Prof DeCelles said.

Don’t ask economy passengers to walk through first class. Picture: PassengerShaming.com

Don’t ask economy passengers to walk through first class. Picture: PassengerShaming.com

The information was gathered over recent years from a large international airline that couldn’t be identified.

Thankfully, air rage cases were found to be rare, with 1.58 incidents among economy passenger for every 1000 flights on planes with a first class section, and 0.31 for first class flyers.

It was found that economy passengers were more likely to have emotional outbursts, such as panic attacks, while first class flyers were more likely to express anger or be drunk.

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Quang

Quang

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