While most flights pass without incident, flight attendants are often put in the crossfire when delays or other troubles raise stress levels among passengers
For a hassle-free flight, expect delays and stay calm
May 7, 1998
Web posted at: 12:39 p.m. EST (1739 GMT)
From CNN Correspondent Dan Ronan
(CNN) -- We've heard a lot recently about road rage -- drivers taking out their
frustrations on other motorists. But people traveling on airplanes can
experience stresses too.
Long lines, delays, and very little wiggle room on flights can send
"Sometimes it can be very, very frustrating especially with delays caused by several different factors," one flyer relates, while another notes that "sometimes you retaliate ... it all depends on how my stress level is."
That means many flight attendants are being forced to deal with unruly
"When they get on an airplane, they bring all the problems that they have with them," says Patricia Friend of the Association of Flight Attendants, "so they take out their hostility on the nearest person, which is generally a flight attendant."
One culprit is stress -- a way to avoid it is to plan ahead and don't expect everything to go smoothly.
"For example if you travel at a busy airport, give yourself plenty of time to find parking and get to your gate," says clinical social worker John Spisak.
Here are some tips to reduce tension in the air:
- Stretch: At least once during your flight, walk the aisle
- Avoid cocktails: Instead of calming you down, alcohol enhances irritability
- Put your work away at least for a while: Spend a few minutes just relaxing
- Keep your wits: If a conflict does arise with someone on the plane, remain calm
"I think it's real important to understand that the only behavior we really have control over is ours," says Spisak. "We can influence other people, but we really can't change other people."
"Expect it and when it comes just ride it out," says another traveler. "It's only going to bother you if you let it bother you."
Following that philosophy, you can thank yourself for hassle-free travel.
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