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Fear of flying, which is increasingly becoming a unique human factors issue, has many facets, not all of which apply directly to flying itself. Some of these are: heights; enclosed spaces; crowded conditions; sitting in hot, stale air; being required to wait passively; not understanding the reasons for all the strange actions sounds and sensations occurring around; worrying about the dangers of turbulence; being dependant on an unknown pilot's or mechanic's judgment; not feeling in control; and the possibility of terrorism. Passenger hostility is a symptom of a blend of emotions and fear of flying is one of them. Other common symptoms are the threat of losing control, fatigue and personal and environmental stress. This could lead to self protection-in demanding alcohol, a particular seat or the right to smoke in the cabin. In the early days of flying, the role of the cabin crew was to alleviate passenger concerns by explaining the rules of aerodynamics, cloud formations and meteorology. They also acted as tour guides, particularly when the aircraft flew at low altitudes since large windows offered spectacular views that could alleviate fear. Fear of flying does not always result in air rage or criminal conduct on the part of the person concerned. However, the fact that fear of flying has the potential to make a normally calm and law abiding person turn into an offender is real. This article examines the fear of flying in all its chronological connotations, from pre flight check in to passenger conduct in the aircraft. It also examines various national legislation which enable an airline, as a measure of risk management, to refuse boarding to a passenger showing stress and acting aggressively. It also critically examines the various international treaties that empower the aircraft commander to take necessary measures against offences committed on board aircraft. The Conclusion suggests several measures that can be taken to address this issue more proactively.
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