The link between air rage and first class

21 June, 2016

A recent study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has found a link between belligerent behaviour and economy class seating.


The research found that air rage incidents were nearly four times more likely to happen on aircraft with a first class seating tier than those without them – with 84% of incidents occurring in economy class.


According to the study, the awareness of first class on-board triggers feelings of unfairness and equality, alerting the traveller to an absence of commodities that they know are available in another seating tier.


These feelings are triggered long before the traveller takes their seat – the different queues, the waiting time and having to walk through first class to get to economy are also big factors.


So what can you do to make your economy pew into a first class experience? Here is our top three travel tips to keep you sane during those long-haul flights:


1. Stay hydrated

Any beauty magazine will tell you that you have to look after your skin, especially when you’re mile high amidst recycled air and face-drying air-conditioning. Model Carolyn Murphy recommends avoiding caffeine and alcohol whilst flying will help keep you relaxed and do your face some favours.

2. Invest in sleep


Reduce your chances of getting cranky by giving yourself the best chance possible in getting some sleep. Whilst economy class is devoid of the fully flatbed features of many first class cabins, you can still invest in a few luxuries that will boost your chances of nodding off.


An inflatable footrest, it doesn’t take up much room in your hand baggage and keeps your legs elevated.


A good travel pillow to avoid an aching neck whilst keeping your head cushioned.

A sleeping mask will black out the daylight and let others know that you’re trying to rest

Sound-cancelling headphones to help you zone out from background noises.

A soft blanket to keep you warm when the air conditioning gets too cold.


3. Choose your seat wisely

A poll of over 1000 regular travellers has revealed the most popular and least popular economy seats on a plane (not including extra legroom seats). Over 45% of respondents chose the front section, whilst 62% of people prefer to sit in an even numbered seat.


When presented with the choice of seat, consider carefully. If you are a regular visitor to the toilet, choose an aisle seat. If you don’t want to be disturbed, choose a window seat. And then there’s the 1% of people who would choose a middle seat over an aisle or window…