Very few 'reality' TV shows are very realistic at all; they're staged, scripted and sliced/diced in the editing room to create dramatic stories that probably bear little resemblence to the 'real' events that actually transpired.
Not so with "Airline", the pseudo-documentary program on A&E (and now on DVD) that chronicles in 30-minute episodes the various trials and tribulations a handful of Southwest Airlines employees go through while trying to get a sometimes insane public to and from their destinations.
The sad part of this, and if you travel frequently you've probably witnessed it yourself so many times, is the fact that so many people in this country are just plain scary in their aggressive ignorance of the world around them, the law and their responsibilities and etiquette associated with travel. Among the most frightening examples:
1. The passengers who demand that it is their God-given right to board a plane whether or not they're too drunk to stand up
2. The MANY passengers throughout the 18 episodes who, given the SLIGHTEST inconvenience, threaten to sue everyone in sight
3. The many passengers who show up to the airport only minutes before scheduled departure and then scream and yell when told that it's not the airline's fault that they are going to miss their flight(s)
I am not a regular Southwest passenger because I don't enjoy the cattle car mentality of being herded on and off a plane, and also because the times I have flown them, the passengers have been as bad or worse as the ones shown on this show. However, I am impressed by the ability and the mindset of its staff in handling the various sticky situations they encounter, and can better understand how they have managed to stay profitable in a (pardon the pun) turbulent competitive environment both before and after 9/11.