We fight over these because there’s so little space.
CREDIT: Getty Images
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
My favorite kind of flight is an empty one.
My second favorite is one where I’m sitting up front and someone else is paying.
My least favorite is one where I’m flying in coach and the flight is full.
It’s not that I entirely dislike my fellow humans. It’s that airlines have ensured that coach is as uncomfortable as they possibly can make it. (Which is often two-thirds or more of the whole plane.)
When we hear about flight rage, it seems almost always to involve coach passengers.
Is this because coach-types are somehow maximally unpleasant, intolerant, nasty people?
Or is it because it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to tolerate the conditions?
A new video has emerged that suggests even supposedly high-falutin’ professionals can sink to behavioral depths in coach.
Not every word is audible.
What is clear, though, is that this is an argument between a man and a woman over am armrest. What’s also clear is that the both claim to be lawyers.
When a lawyer declares their lawyerdom, how can you dispute it? Indeed, as the passenger filming the action muses: “Everyone is a lawyer today.”
Highlights from the video include: “We are arguing over an armrest. Relocate her. I’m not going anywhere.
Oh, and then there’s: “I paid for this seat. The woman is obnoxious and rude. I’m not moving anywhere, anywhere at all.”
Which then descends to: “I’m a lawyer too, you stupid woman.”
It’s hard to take sides — except with all the other passengers and cabin crew on this Monarch Airlines flight between London Gatwick and Malaga, Spain.
The woman appears to claim the man shoved her. Who hasn’t done that — albeit gently — when a fellow passenger has intruded on the shared, inch-wide armrest beyond reason?
The man claims he was asleep.
It seems that the warring lawyers were sent to opposite ends of the plane, rather than thrown off.
The video, though, leaves one with a few thoughts.
It’s remarkable how tolerant most humans are not to lose their tempers — for one reason or another — on planes.
Humans are getting bigger and seats are getting smaller. The seat on a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which might take you on an 11- hour flight, is actually narrower than the seat on an Airbus 321, which will take you on a much shorter journey.
Planes are being manufactured entirely to help airlines stuff more seats in and make more money. Passenger comfort seems not to interest airlines too much.
That’s not to say that some people are simply more unpleasant than others — and I wouldn’t dream of categorizing lawyers as being especially cantankerous, intolerant, boorish, entitled or just plain mean.
Ultimately, it’s always far more pleasant to get off a plane than to get on one.
Once upon a time, you know, Air Canada ran a campaign with the tagline: “Flights So Good, You Won’t Want To Get Off.” (I briefly worked on it. Sadly, the client rejected my ad with the Pope kneeling down and kissing the floor of the plane, rather than the tarmac.)
Now, American Airlines is running a campaign telling people to behave better on planes.
Dear passenger, you must be ever more tolerant, so that airlines can be ever more wealthy.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.