Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Which stage of grief about flying are you at?

Have you not gone past denial? Have you at least reached the bargaining stage?

Or are you one of the enlightened souls who's already attained acceptance?

Airlines are all business these days.

No, not business class.

They're simply squeezing every dollar out of us and out of their planes, so that they can show soaring profits.

At what cost, however?

Certainly their brand images are sinking to the level of humor.

Might there, however, be even greater consequences?

I only ask because Flight Club is becoming Fight Club.

The International Air Transport Association this week announced that air rage incidents were up 16 percent last year.

Yes, there were 10,854 of them in 2015. There were a mere 1,132 in 1994.

Perhaps the world has become more boorish and aggressive.

Perhaps the alcohol that courses down the aisles and is handed out to numb us has had the opposite effect.

Perhaps not.

Alcohol was cited in a mere 23 percent of cases.

So what might the other causes be?

Could it be that the narrower planes, narrower seats, and narrower minds of airlines have contributed to the wider spread of tetchiness?

Might it be that cabin crew members, whose tasks are becoming ever more onerous in ever more difficult conditions, are finding it harder to be pleasant?

Just last week, a lawyer sued Emirates because he claimed the airline had seated him next to someone far too large for the seat.

Well, the lawyer wasn't going to hit him, was he?

Last year, research from the University of Toronto suggested that there's more air rage in economy class when passengers know that there's a first class cabin.

Worse, there's even more air rage than that when economy class passengers have to walk through that first class cabin to get to their seats.

Could it be that knowing that there could be more comfort, but for an insanely exaggerated price, makes passengers tighten their jaws and fists?

Sadly, airlines seem more concerned with the bottom line, not the comfort of your bottom.

Even Delta has now introduced its Sub-Cattle Class (my name for it, not theirs) for all those who want only the service of getting from one place to another and are willing to accept the maximum of inconvenience.

Still, one airline does seem to be worried about the rage inside its machines.

That's American Airlines, which recently launched an ad campaign that tried to shame passengers into behaving better.

I'm sure it will work.

One way, surely, of creating an atmosphere that induces calm is to give people enough room to breathe and enough comfort to quietly sit and contemplate their lives in the sky.

But doesn't a combination of little competition and a drive for profit at seemingly any cost make the likelihood of more air rage increase?

Sometimes, squeezing every last dime out of something may not be the best thing to do.

For some businesses, though, the temptation is just too great.

Even if some customers get mad as hell and just can't take it anymore.

Sep 29, 2016