‘Air rage’ and traveler bad behavior on the rise in China

(CNN) — Air rage is on the rise in China. Passenger outbursts have halted two flights in recent weeks.

Melees in mid-air. Tussles at the ticket counter. Chinese social media sites are full of these videos.

Air rage and traveler bad behavior are not unique to the country. But things have gotten so bad, the government issued a guidebook on how to be a “civilized tourist.” In China, being loud and fending for yourself is part of the culture, which is why some of China’s new rich are going to finishing schools that include lessons in air travel etiquette.

Like the Chinese economy, its airline and tourism industries have taken off in the last few decades.

“It’s a nation of first generation air travelers.” Journalist and author of “China Airborne” Jim Fallows says many newly prosperous passengers have never experienced the kind of travel headaches long familiar to other fliers.

“A population that is underprepared and a system that is especially annoying,” Fallows said. “When they combine, you see these results.”

China’s busiest hubs are notorious for long delays. Fallows blames much of the misery on the chinese military, which controls the vast majority of the country’s increasingly crowded airspace. China is expected to pass the U.S. and become the world’s top airline market in the next 20 years, which means more agonizing waits and perhaps passengers taking Chinese-style air rage to new heights.

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