Aviation Expert Witness On Air Rage Part 4

In Air Rage, aviation expert witness Capt. Bob Norris writes:

The significant increase in load factors experienced over the last 10 years have given rise to considerable overcrowding, which for some individuals causes aggression, and deep frustration, and a propensity toward air rage. Most airlines have cut back on amenities like meals, boarding passes, and even leg room, so people who normally never cause a problem may feel compelled to lash out in frustration. As I fly as a coach passenger in the B-757 I feel like I am in a cattle car, wedged in the middle seat between two larger than normal size individuals, unable to move. When the person in the seat in front of me slams back their seat to recline, I am jammed in the gut by my computer. Standing in line with only three blue-rooms, unable to pass in the aisle when the food carts are in use is enough to cause frustration too most passengers. As the airlines try and fill all seats, the crowding conditions will continue and only exacerbate the already unacceptable situation.

The airlines deport thousands of illegal immigrants each year. Many are a high risk because they have been indicated for criminal acts and not escorted by armed INS agents. These individuals are being sent back against their will and none to happy about it. On a flight from Los Angeles to El Salvador two-dozen criminal immigrants were on board, just out of jail. Several stole liquor from the service cart and became drunk; a 12-year-old girl was inappropriately touched by one of the men. Additionally, some of these deportees have contagious diseases that are common to their areas and can affect other passengers.

Another potential area of concern is the transport of mentally ill patients who are suppose to be escorted and kept under surveillance at all times. The escort should have adequate restraining devices and alert the flight attendant on how to handle the patient in the event of an emergency. There have been several cases where no escort was provided and the patient became very disturb and difficult to deal with.