I think that is a safe assumption. I'm sure refugees seeking asylum are grateful to be seeing the back of their country so any seat on a moving vehicle feels like a dream come true. As would women fleeing abusive relationships or teens starting college or, okay, so I'll rephrase that: "Flying sucks" is what the majority of people are probably thinking, as they herd themselves onto most commercial planes.
Can you blame them? According to a Wall Street Journal article, the majority of Western bodies have grown wider in the past decade, while most airline seats have shrunk to just 17" across.
Airplane catering is notorious for being the definition of that Woody Allen joke: Such terrible food and such small portions! But at least it was included in the price. Being tossed a packet of potato chips without reaching into your wallet is now considered a luxury, reserved to very few domestic carriers.
Sure a flight might be advertised at a great price but once you add up the fees and taxes you haven't saved a penny. Checked bags- you'll definitely be charged for them or see your ticket reflect the price if you aren't. Carry on luggage comes with an extra charge on many "Budget" flights in the US and Europe. Even using the restroom on the Irish carrier Ryan Air has been reported to require a payment.
After your credit card has been charged to perform the most basic of human functions: excretion, hydration and nourishment; a change of clothes at your destination and a seat that can support your body weight, is it any wonder that people have thrown drinks when their efforts to recline have been thwarted by an invention called the Knee Defender? Those 2 inches are all we have left.
I'm currently in the process of reestablishing myself as a Psychotherapist and between the Certification fees, Licensure Renewal fees, a fee to simply keep my name on a Register, plus Professional Association Membership and Liability Insurance, I'm out almost $500.
I receive offers every day for Test Prep workshops that would cost me hundreds of dollars, on top of the fee to just sit the exam. I get mail advertising "Networking" lunches at 50$ a pop and Continuing Education (CEU) Seminars- which I must have to keep my License but come at a price. Not to forget the 65k I dropped in Student Loans just to get the Masters degree. I haven't even started to clear my debts and I doubt I will for many years.
Every inch, every cent that is demanded of us comes with very little in return. While the wealth gap increases; the Rich are filling their pockets despite working wages remaining stagnant. The Minimum Wage does not even come close to a Living Wage. Women are still earning less than men in the same position and the cost of living is soaring.
The Knee Defender may prevent someone from taking up your precious few inches of space but I think it represents so much more: the anger and rage that has been unleashed on a few planes reflects a much deeper frustration.
What if the Revolution starts with a few people pushing their seats back? Could it be enough to motivate many more to stand up?