According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, passengers seated in economy class were 3.8 times more likely to have an incident of air rage if they were on a plane that had a first-class section.
The study highlighted the fact that class division in the skies can have a real and occasionally dangerous effect on passengers in both sections of a plane. Researchers report that the simple presence of a first-class cabin on an airplane is correlated with an almost fourfold increase in the frequency of “air rage” incidents in economy class.
It turns out that there may be one particular trigger that causes fliers to throw in the towel and give in to suppressed feelings of so-called “air rage”– walking through a first class cabin. When economy-class passengers are forced to pass through the luxurious first-class area on their way to the cramped economy seats, the rate of air rage incidents is more than seven times higher than if there are no first-class seats at all.
On average, these incidents occur in economy class just .14 times per 1,000 flights when there is no first-class cabin, but 1.58 times per 1,000 flights when there is a first-class cabin.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is based on data collected by a large international airline over several years and many thousands of flights. However, in order to get access to the data, the authors agreed not to reveal the name of the airline.
Gildshire Editor, Mia Russell