The transport sector has kept pace with increasing technology; there have been numerous developments in plane technology. Good and efficient transport is the backbone of trade and by extension economy. Other than the internet, the other development that has made the world a village is transport; more so air transport. Air transport has come with good things; however, some problems are associated with this means of transport. The problems that are associated with air transport have more weight in safety. How safe are the passengers? Are their lives safe? Are they psychologically troubled and how comfortable are the passengers? In the recent past there have been planing crashes in some parts of the world they including; the latest plane crash that occurred on June 23, 2010. It occurred in Quebec, Canada. The name of the plane was called Beechcraft A100 King Air. The pilot of the above plane had reported that the plane had a problem and when trying to land, the plane exploded. There were seven people aboard and all of them died in the inferno. January 25, 2010 – there was another plane clash crash Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 after taking off from Beirut airport.
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There were 90 passengers and crew in total and none survived. On May 20, 2009, Inan donesian C130 military transport plane crashed only fea w miles from Iswahyudi air force base in East Java. There were 110 passengers and crew members. 98 people were killed including two who were not on one plane. Terrorism is another problem that airplane transport is faced with (Kebabjian 1). Terrorisms have for long targeted planes, this has left the passengers anpassenger’sves crews geared. Numerous deaths have occurred as a result. For example, Seon September 11, 2001, atta, CK oan f the world trade center was made possible because the terrorist was ablewasuse a plane for the attack. This brings another angle to the discussion that the means of transport is not oarey dangerous to the people aboard the plane but also those on the ground. The attack resulted in death of over 3000 people both on the ground and those aboard (Jim 2-7). In 2009, there was a threat of attack in an American plane where a Nigerian student had entered the plane with a bomb; though the attack labor was wasted there was huge panic all over the world about the safety of passengers. Air rage is another problem that is on the rise in the recent past. More and more passengers are becoming victims of the attack as well as the lack of comfort of the passengers as they board a plane. This paper looks deep into the air rage problem. It will analyze the cause of air rage and touch briefly on what should be done to ensure that the passengers feel safe and secure.
For the last couple of years, air rage has been on the rise; however, not much attention has been accorded to it, neither is there accurate statistics that have been developed. Air rage is bad conduct of plane passenger that may result in physical torture, emotional harassment,t or any conduct that affect the comfort of plane staff and /or the other passengers. It may also take the form of serious safety rules disobedience and verbal assault to the staff members /passengers. This torture is not directed only to the crew members but may even be a target to the pilot, causing a lot of danger as the pilot is disoriented from his duties.
Some travelers become a bother to the rest. They may start abusing their fellows; refuse to fairy share the sitting space, refusing to stop smoking that may cause discomfort to the other passengers. As much as freedom is allowed in a plane, the freedom should extend as much as it doesn’t affect the freedom of another person. The behavior has been on the rise because it’s only of late that the crew member report, the details of the flight after a flight have been considered. Previously neither the staff nor the pilot took the initiative to report the offender after a flight. As the cases increase the media, national, international regulatory agencies, flight crews, and airlines are now taking the cases seriously but funny enough there are not many concrete measures that have been developed to stop the behaviors.
According to a surgery conducted by International Air Transport Association, the trend has been on the rise with a recorded 5416 cases reported in 1997; a rise from 1132 reported three years earlier. In the U.S. the cases had increased to 540, according to the US Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). Recording of cases in Australia is as recent as in 1998 when 30 cases were recorded but in 1999 the cases had risen to 650. In Japan, the exercise recorded 330 cases in 1999. The United Kingdom is not an exemption; it recorded 1200 cases in 1999, of which 70 of them were serious cases. The cases have been under-declared since not all cases are reported. A survey conducted in Australia showed that the cases that are frequently recorded are those that involve violence (Rolfe 83-89). The statistics are not adequate because not all forms of violence are recorded. A crew member may consider rudeness by a passenger as normal and fail to report.
The definition of this term takes different forms, but from a general definition, it is used to mean any form of misconduct, however minimal, to the plane staff or the passenger by people of bad character aboard the plane. It may stretch from mere rudeness of the passenger to the staff to physical torture to the staff or passengers. These cases are more in public air crafts. The term was coined by the media fraternity in the early 1990s.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines air misconduct as any destructive behavior that can make either the staff or the passengers, uncomfortable. The case may be so severe that the plane cannot continue with the journey and is forced to land in the nearest port to deal with the unruly person. The consequences may be severe especially when the pilot or the assistant is the point of target, he may get irritated and lose control, and eventually have an accident. This and among other consequences (we will discuss later) are the ones that are triggering the battle against air rage. Let’s now look at the major causes of air rage;
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The consumption of alcohol affects the central nervous system and thus it influences the functioning of the whole body. The effect that the consumption is likely to give is more felt in a plane environment than in the outside world. A drunkard cannot be able to reason soberly and thus can be violent or use uncomfortable language out of the drive that the alcohol is giving to him (Jim 2-4). The effect of alcohol is even more serious in the plane because of the recycled air. The alcohol is freely available to passengers who are identified as mollify travelers and it is also available for sale. From the incidences reported, 40% of them relate to alcoholic passengers.
The effect of tobacco is more severe when it is taken at high heights and the concentrated carbon monoxide that is present in the planes. The carbon monoxide inhaled by the smoker and those people that are around him affects the hemoglobin. It binds itself to hemoglobin 200 times faster than oxygen. These results in replacing the oxygen with carboxyhemoglobin; which should be at less than one percent in normal situations, in heavy smokers, the percentage can rise to 7%. The oxygen saturation of such smokers may equate to that found at 8000 feet above sea level. It also has a long-term effect on the health of the smoker. They result in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in the long run. The effect is immediate and combined with the effect of high altitude, it raises the stress level of the passengers especially those that did not have a previous record of taking cigarettes. The effect is also felt at a lesser effect by the smell and affects the passenger smoker, the nonsmoker as well as the cabin crew. Other than the health hazard that is as a result of the consumption, the immediate effect on the passengers and crew will raise the anxiety of the passengers and eventually discomfort (Anonymous 4- 12).
Stress and Circadian Dysrhythmia
Stress is another cause of air rage; we have examined how alcohol and tobacco have led to the increase in stress levels; however, this is not the only cause of stress. We have various causes of stress that are in the plane environment as well as in normal day-to-day life. As the passengers pass through different time zones then the “body clock” that is based on a 24hour system is disrupted. When this happens the body becomes disturbed and stressed. The way it is supposed to interpret the situation changes. This affects the whole body’s functioning. When we change a time zone, the circadian rhythm is not in synchronization with this time zone and the resultant is an internal conflict in the body system. The same story happens with physiological functions. For example, from the East coast to Europe one has to cross six time zones, as soon as the body starts adapting to a time zone no sooner has the plane gotten into another. These changes will result in stress.
The effect that air rage can have is great and other than just making life uncomfortable to other passengers and crew members it can lead to the death of the entire team. The likely danger has made the airlines, governments, and othstakeholdersers come together to derive a formula to curb this. The most obvious reason that will make this act important is the safety of the crew and passengers. It is the responsibility of the airline operators to assure that there is the safety of the staff and the passengers. This is in the normal business as well as a requirement for licensing. The other area is in the line of business as the airline wants to build a good brand name the correct way of doing this is through ensuring that safety measures have been adequately put in their planes. In many incidences, the operators will hardly report incidences of air rage to keep their name clean and strengthen their brand name. This will ensure that the confidence of the customers is not eroded, at the expense of further true remedies.
As much as developing a brand is an internal objective, the feeling that a passenggetsget, when he/ she travels, is of great importance. Thirdly, efficiency is another aspect that the plane should guarantee, take a situation whereby an unruly person has become so violent that a decision has been made to stop the plane in the nearest airport and keep him out. The result of this is delayed to the other members. Since the plane had carried people of different occupations and others going for different missions, the consequences can be far-reaching. The passenger may decide to sue the airplane company or the agent with whom he booked the ticket. In case, for example, a doctor was delayed as a result and the patient that he was going to attend to dies, such a case cannot be compensated. So out of just a single incident of air rage, the danger can be great.
Some measures and ways have started to be adopted by various airline companies with the support of the local government. They include; the British airways have introduced a warning system like the one used in football. The passenger is given a warning of the consequences that can accrue as a result of being unruly. The consequences include arrest and jail at the next point of landing, high penalties. The Swiss air has allowed the crew members to carry with their handcuffs, so as they are empowered to arrest unruly passengers. Once they are arrested they are dealt with according to the governing laws.
The International Air Transport Association has developed methods for dealing with problematic passengers. It was developed by Gatwick Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority in the United Kingdom. It is currently working with airlines and airline companies to come up with a range of measures to enable staff to deal with problems. They are also undertaking education on certain safety measures in the plane (Barron 39-44).
Everything that we do involves some level of risk. Transportation is an important and inevitable part of today’s life. Air transport has for long been a reliable means of transport that has made many parts of the world reachable. The problems that are associated with this means of transport are mostly safety and passenger comfort issues. Air rage has been on the rise and the safety of the passengers as well as the workers of the airplane should be protected as much as possible, the business people, governments, and the international community should be reading from the same script to avoid the vice. The passengers should be educated before boarding the plane on the dangers that the vice can cause. On the other hand, in the training of the various categories of crew members, the lesson of safety should be well taught. The standards of the planes should be continuously improved and the old planes that are likely to cause discomfort ruled out.
Anonymous. “Sept. 11 Terrorist Attack Suspect Indicted (sidebar).” Issues & Controversies. Facts on File News Services. 2002. Web.
Barron, Paul. “Air Rage: An Emerging Challenge for the Airline Industry.” Asia Pacific Journal of Transport. Web.
Jim Mann. “Plane crash recovery begins.” McClatchy – Tribune Business News 2010 ABI/INFORM Complete, ProQuest. Web.
Kebabjian, Richard. “Recent accidents.” Plane crashes.com. Web.
Rolfe, Peter. “Air rage: Disruptive passengers the cause and the cures.” Aeromedical, 2000. Web.