Could Pavlov’s dog finally be biting back? You’ve seen the reports everywhere about the massive increase in incidents involving unruly and sometimes violent passengers on commercial flights. Recently, the publication Travel Pulse ran an article about Sara Nelson, the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants, who had just testified before congress. In her remarks to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, Nelson said that “We are on track to log more incidents of disruptive airline passengers in 2021 than we have seen in the history of aviation”.
Now, I’m not going to speculate as to how many of these incidents were caused by too many Gate B preflight cocktails or suggest that flight attendants should now be asking passengers “Coffee, Tea or Duct Tape” when they wheel the refreshment cart down the aisle. But I am asking the following questions: Have decades of commercial carriers’ own Classical Conditioning played a part in the sometimes violent in-flight incidents that we are seeing and what, if any effect has it had on the Private Aviation industry?
Time was when flying on a commercial flight was quite the experience. Folks would get dressed up, kids would be lectured for days in advance by their parents, on how to act like a proper young girl or boy while on board, and neighbors would get jealous. You can say that flying used to be a “keeping up with the Joneses” moment. Then, shortly after deregulation, the Comfort Purge began. Airline seats got smaller. Luggage restrictions and fees became the norm. Hub-and-spoke has replaced direct flights and in-flight meals have given way to a snack bag your kids would scowl at if they found it in their lunch bag.
I asked Flewber’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Thane Gevas, how he believes private aviation and more specifically, Flewber’s new regional product may benefit from this surge in passenger unruliness, that commercial carriers are contending with? Thane responded with the following:
“Private aviation, as a whole, has never had this issue until recent years. Up until ride sharing became the norm, in some carriers, it was nonexistent. “Why?”, you ask? Private air charter was just that; private. All of the passengers traveling were either families, business acquaintances or groups of friends. With ride sharing, it is just that, you purchase a ticket and fly with 6 to 12 strangers. In contrast, Flewber’s regional model is no different than traveling private; the whole craft is chartered, virtually eliminating any chance of unruliness”.
Maybe one day, the commercial airline industry will make the move from Pavlov to Carl Gustav Jung who said: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do”, and we’ll once again be able to fly the friendly skies. Until then, Flewber’s new app and affordable regional flights, should bring you the peace of mind that you crave.