Today's Story Line

As millions of passengers prepare to travel this holiday season, and face likely delays, airlines are training crews to deal with air rage (page 1).

Quote of note: "This is not something we want to apply on a regular basis. It is a last resort if nothing else works. But ... things can get dangerous." - Erwin Schaerer, a spokesman for Swissair.

Faye Bowers Deputy world editor


RAGE OF ANGELS? Peter Ford says he has every sympathy with airline staff who are victims of air rage, but wonders whether some agents are not too quick to dismiss any criticism as incidents of abuse. This summer his flight from Paris to Bristol, England, was cancelled after everyone had boarded. He disembarked and asked for his luggage back, so that he could take a train. Two hours later, still waiting and being treated with royal disregard by a luggage clerk, he told the clerk he was tired of being played for a fool. "Who are you calling a fool?" exploded the clerk, having misheard. "This is going in my log. It is a clear case of ground rage."

SALLIES AND SOUP KITCHENS: Officers of the Salvation Army were often seen in the streets in New Zealand, Alex MacLeod's homeland. But in those days of assured state welfare, he couldn't figure out what they did. When he visited Auckland many years later, a friend asked him, "Have you checked out our soup kitchen?"

Alex says it was hard to believe there was a soup kitchen. But he got up early next morning and found the Salvation Army's headquarters. The "sallies," as they were called, were the first to feed dozens of unemployed native Maori, Pacific Islanders, and white New Zealanders lined up. A "sallie" explained to Alex that at least three economic recessions had hit since he left, "and you see one of the results at our door."

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