The Null Device

The poor quality of passengers

A Commons inquiry into whether flying has become less pleasant has been told that flights with budget airlines are unpleasant, because of the quality of the passengers they attract:
He read out one description, saying the experience could be summed up as "very unpleasant, a good proportion of people shout the length of the cabin, walk around with drinks, use foul language and are generally awful".
The representatives of two budget airlines, EasyJet and FlyBe, denied suggestions that they tolerate a poorer standard of behaviour than more expensive airlines. Though, if there is a correlation between the costliness of a journey and the standards of behaviour the travellers (consciously or subconsciously) believe is expected of them, what the airline will tolerate is beside the point.

Assuming that there is more bad behaviour on budget flights, I wonder what proportion of that is due to not so much the social class/lack of proper upbringing of the passengers as the context of the situation: in other words, some people who would otherwise behave respectably assuming, consciously or otherwise, that, since they're on a budget flight, the expected standards of behaviour are a lot lower than elsewhere. Call it a transport-related variant of the broken windows theory.

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