During the “air traffic chaos” in Brazil around 2007-20008, people released their worst instincts and behaviors instead of keeping a cool head to allow things to be sorted out. It was a time that I traveled a lot and every time I came back home I had some story to tell.
Some folks say that it was a natural consequence of a lower-middle-class influx of passengers who didn’t have money to fly and do tourism before. I disagree. I understand that a lot of poor and ignorant people can now be seen at airports while the lounge used to be an upper-class environment until the 90s. But these “new middle-class” as we call them are law-abiding people who won’t misbehave. The problem is the people who think they are “someone important.” Flights that begin or end in Rio de Janeiro are the worst.
The most curious occurrence happened during a long flight (Recife to Rio). Two middle-aged and clearly upper-class women, who happened to be sisters, began to argue and ended up fighting in the middle of the flight. They were going to Rio to bury some parent and had begun to fight about the INHERITANCE right there!
The argument almost escalated because one sister threw water on the other, but the liquid ended up on a man who had nothing to do with their business. He rose up and spoke very loudly; we thought he was going to attack the sisters. The flight attendant came and defused the situation.
The attendant said the federal police would be waiting for the sisters at Rio. They were quiet as dead until the flight ended! At the end the FA told me he didn’t call the police because that would result in more delays, more people having to lose flights in order to talk to the police, etc, etc.