Everything you need to know about why more passengers are shunning airports and flocking to the skies

Start checking your pants pockets for the pilot notes you may have previously tossed out. According to The Toronto Star, a record 26.5 million Americans took to the skies in August, a 5.5 percent…

Everything you need to know about why more passengers are shunning airports and flocking to the skies

Start checking your pants pockets for the pilot notes you may have previously tossed out.

According to The Toronto Star, a record 26.5 million Americans took to the skies in August, a 5.5 percent increase over August 2017.

In the past, that’s meant more comfortable seats, legroom and other amenities. But now, it seems like some passengers are wondering how much they are paying for a plane seat just to feel the same as everybody else.

Insiders say the rise in passengers flipping out on planes is due to a variety of factors, according to the Star.

The viral YouTube video of a screaming passenger has been haunting many in the industry, and airlines have often responded with video evidence in case passengers need to be publicly shamed for harassing fellow passengers.

Another factor that contributed to the increase in complaints were close encounters of the angry kind. More people are choosing not to fly as commercial carriers have added smaller, 20-seat seats to popular models, according to the Star. Those seats create closer matches, which many passengers don’t like, the newspaper said.

Some passengers are also turning their backs on planes in favor of Uber, Lyft and a variety of other cheaper alternatives.

Additionally, the TSA has been removing ordinary airport security employees from inside US airports and paying them $1 an hour to turn their attention to digital threats instead.

A third factor has been the imposition of extra fees for baggage, meals and drinks, which airlines in the US have added since 2015, creating a price hike that could increase the proportion of average passengers who not only pay fees, but feel comfortable with the issue, so they grow frustrated.

The biggest winner by far, by a long shot, has been United Airlines. Its August traffic increased 10.2 percent from a year earlier, more than a billion people flew with United last month, according to USA Today.

But even air travelers have taken note of the strain on amenities. The goal of most airliners is to lower their operating costs for everything from fuel to maintenance, but many passengers do not like the experience.

Passengers are complaining of cold and sometimes non-functioning lavatories, an inadequate number of seats and surpluses of overhead bins. Travelers are looking for the chance to upgrade to first class or to business class — something that is increasingly more difficult.

For flight attendants, the demands only get more intense. Pilots have to deal with cranky passengers, while flight attendants have to handle plenty of rude people who can’t get along with a handful of lavatory attendants.

“I don’t think I’ve had a flight where a person sat next to me and I didn’t complain,” said Jason Korzeniewski, a flight attendant at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island.

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