Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Unfriendly Skies

I've been thinking about the violence breaking out on commercial airliners and in airport terminals. We've too many examples in too short a period to view these troubles as mere coincidence.

What we're seeing is the end result of making air travel less and less pleasant, more and more crowded, less a treat to be enjoyed and more a trial to be withstood. Jammed together, herded like cattle, their personal spaces systematically infringed, and their personal dignity assaulted, people with short fuses blow up.

Dealing with anxious, jittery, cranky passengers makes gate personnel and cabin crews tense and uncomfortable as well. Sometimes it is they who explode, and/or show monumentally bad judgment. I expect we're fortunate there haven't been many more incidents involving both passengers and employees. TSA isn't blameless either.

We Americans have been getting larger while airplane seats have been getting smaller and closer together. Much is wrong with this picture, and change is necessary. I'm not certain how to bring it about, however.