We're getting more irritable as we fly. Figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that from 2014 to 2015 there was a 16 per cent increase in reported incidents of "unruly passengers". During the same period, the number of ticketed passengers went up by just 7 per cent (incidentally, that ticks over at a stunning 3.6 billion passenger trips) over that time period, according to IATA.

Most of the reported incidents were pretty low key - verbal abuse and failure to follow instructions from cabin crew - but there's a sharper edge to this behaviour; in about 11 per cent of the cases, there was physical aggression from a passenger towards someone else (another passenger or a crew member), or the aircraft was damaged. That's mile-high douche-baggery.

So 16 per cent more agro and only 7 per cent more people - what's going on?

IATA haven't offered any theories on why the increase in unruly passengers is outstripping the growth in overall passenger numbers.


"From the perspective of the industry it isn't about categorising the behaviour," an IATA spokesman said. "We want it to stop."

Class divisions could be a factor. Studies have found that flights with First Class cabins are more likely to experience incidents of air rage elsewhere in the plane.

Yes, the airlines are cramming more of us into planes. But I can't help but think it's our own fault - we demand cheap tickets, so airlines respond by shovelling more of us into the Economy Class sardine can.

Hey, let's be careful out there.