Study: Sleeping on an airplane becomes a hassle for some.

Passengers are at the forefront of a movement to break up flights and make space for the many others on board. On top of noise, environmental pollution and an ever-shrinking box of loose change,…

Study: Sleeping on an airplane becomes a hassle for some.

Passengers are at the forefront of a movement to break up flights and make space for the many others on board. On top of noise, environmental pollution and an ever-shrinking box of loose change, travelers can add to their frustration by the poor placement of blankets, pillows and arm rests, forcing passengers to constantly leap forward and forward to reach sleep and other precious moments. Now, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, a small but influential group of travelers are refusing to stick around for these rows of captive humanity.

Researchers at Brigham Young University recruited 899 people of various ages to take part in experiments that asked them to imagine a traditional flight that involved the use of “a blanketless aisle seat,” and to rate the importance of key traits such as safety, comfort and the business class experience. While participants guessed that blankets were necessary for safety and comfort — and even offered altered answers when asked whether blankets were an essential part of business class — they were “completely uninformed about what made certain seats in coach class inoperable,” report the researchers. Those participants whose preferred class included blankets found it less important.

“Nobody had been around a plane without blankets,” study author Philip Wheeler told Reuters. So, rather than reach for the stuffed animal or bribe a wench to wave a blanket to rest, Wheeler and his team found that the blankets had become an ingrained habit, alienating them from the rest of the plane. “It’s not a friendly gesture, it’s not a reassuring gesture, it’s not a silly gesture, it’s not a utilitarian gesture,” Wheeler said.

Maybe it’s time to reintroduce some modern interaction to the plane experience.

Read the full story at Reuters.

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