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The Science behind Badly Behaved Passengers

We’ve all experienced nightmare passengers at the airport, whether they’re screaming at staff about delays, reclining their seat on the plane and constantly fidgeting, or simply racing everyone to board and disembark first!

However, new research conducted by Psychologists at Thrillist may have discovered why normal people become crazy as soon as they step foot into the airport – apparently the lack of control mixed with less than ideal conditions modifies their behaviour.

Delays, cramped seating, dehydration, bad food and tiny bathrooms would be hard enough to deal with in everyday life, but if you mix this with general holiday stress and our lack of control over the 35,000 feet situation, apparently this affects our minds, and makes us irrational and impolite.

From the moment we step through passport control we are at the mercy of the airport, airline and pilot; whether that means a lack of seating in the lounge, departure delays, lack of leg room, other passengers, delayed baggage, claustrophobia and arrival times. If you mix these issues with the desperation to get on holiday and the probably early morning trek to the airport, anyone would feel stressed and less than civil.

The research also suggests that once this feeling sets in, the behaviour can be contagious, as other passengers join in with the complaint, or set upon the passenger who is causing a scene. Obviously both scenarios can be extremely problematic for cabin crew.

If you’re planning a trip, there are a few simple things you can do to help you maintain a feeling of relaxation. For example, try listening to calming music or reading a good book to make queuing or waiting around more enjoyable. Furthermore, make sure you’ve invested in quality travel insurance, so you know you can claim compensation if your flight is delayed over 12 hours.

Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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