“Unruly Passengers” Increased 12x in Four Years. I Wonder Why?

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Speaking of airlines, two stories crossed my radar by chance today. Here’s the first:

The number of incidents of unruly passengers jumped from less than 500 in 2007 to more than 6,000 in 2011, according to the International Air Transport Assn., the trade group for world airlines, which has been keeping track of the incidents….A meeting has been scheduled for March by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a branch of the United Nations, to discuss new rules on how to deal with unruly passengers. A location for the meeting has not been set.

And here’s the second:

On Jammed Jets, Sardines Turn on One Another

With air travelers increasingly feeling like packed sardines, flying has become a contact sport, nowhere more than over the reclined seat.

Now, it is only getting worse, as airlines re-examine every millimeter of the cabin. Over the last two decades, the space between seats — hardly roomy before — has fallen about 10 percent, from 34 inches to somewhere between 30 and 32 inches. Today, some airlines are pushing it even further, leaving only a knee-crunching 28 inches.

….Southwest, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, is installing seats with less cushion and thinner materials — a svelte model known in the business as “slim-line.” It also is reducing the maximum recline to two inches from three. These new seats allow Southwest to add another row, or six seats, to every flight — and add $200 million a year in newfound revenue.

I wonder if these could possibly be related in any way?

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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