Air Rage in the Unfriendly Skies

Over the past month the patience of air travelers has been pushed to the limit.

In a now infamous nightmare scenario, frustrated Jet Blue passengers sat stranded on a frozen New York runway for 10 hours on Valentine's Day.

These days the trials and tribulations of flying seem to be getting worse, from mysterious flight cancellations to lost luggage, long lines and missed connections.

America's airports are full of travelers on the brink, but for some the stress can push them over the edge.

"It's a condition known as air rage," said psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere. "Some of the people who snap, when they get into a situation where they're pushed to the limit they tend to handle it in a much more dysfunctional way."

In 2001, Continental gate agent Angelo Sottile suffered a broken neck after a scuffle over boarding passes with an unsatisfied traveler at Newark Airport. The passenger was later acquitted during a jury trial.

And in 2002, a Sacramento man was tackled after police say he became irate over increased security measures at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport.

Former Pan Am flight attendant, Diana Fairechild sas she has experienced the dangerous dysfunction first hand.

"It's a real pressure cooker in the airplane," Fairechild said. "Flight attendants have been slapped, pinched, burned with cigarettes, cut with broken bottles of wine. They've been attacked in all different ways, so it's very, very dangerous and you have the public up there and you just know how they're going to act."

Be Prepared for the Worst

The Department of Transportation says nearly a quarter of all flights around the country were delayed last year.

Experts say preparing yourself mentally ahead of time for potential delays, cancellations and other problems can go a long way.

"Then you're not caught at the last minute with that kind of a shock," Gardere said. "This way you can almost prepare yourself … deal with the adversity."

Gardere offers other tips: Avoid alcohol, be calm with airline personnel, arrive early, dress comfortably, and request the airline call or text you if there is a delay or cancellation.

Passengers Susan and Kamal Dorsainville, stranded for hours at LaGuardia during the Valentine's Day blizzard, would like to see the airlines do more to ease their frustration.

"They want us to get the credit card, of course every airline wants your business, but then why be loyal to any airline if they're not going to be loyal to you," said Kamal Dorsainville.

Anne and Ron Kortekaas were also heading home to Toronto from New York and told ABC News they endured a case of major miscommunication from the airline.

"We were totally given the run around," said Ron. "We got a broken down plane that needed a part but they were on strike so that plane wasn't going anywhere. We were passed back and forth from agent to agent and gate to gate."

Anne added: "No one takes any responsibility years ago when we first started flying they seemed to care I just don't think they care anymore."

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