Those mid air scuffles that provide such entertainment to the rest of us stuck in coach on a 14-hour journey have only gotten more frequent. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the number of incidents of “disruptive behavior” on airplanes has tripled in the last few years. This year, the CAA received around 2,219 reports of airplane scuffles compared to 1359 the previous year.
The most common causes in-flight fights? Arguments between couples (surprise, surprise); disgruntlement over seat allocation; and passengers who get miffed when the guy in front reclines his seat into their space. Fliers also tend to get testy when asked to stop smoking, leading to frayed tempers all around.
As expected, alcohol was a major factor in deciding the incidence of slanging matches on board, and other factors could be traced to disputes that began in the terminal, and were then carried over after takeoff. In at least 42 cases, passengers had to be restrained and in at least 19 incidents, the flight had to be turned around.