air rage
n. An airline passenger’s physical or verbal assault of crew members or other passengers.

Example Citations:
Three [passengers] helped to pin down and handcuff [another passenger] after he threatened to kill the pilot and headbutt a passenger, smashed a seat and indecently assaulted a stewardess in an hour of mid-air mayhem.

Details of the appalling air rage incident on BA flight 2237 from Gatwick to Orlando, Florida, were captured on video by a German tourist and released to The Mail on Sunday yesterday.
—Christopher Leake, “Handcuffed at 35,000ft,” The Mail on Sunday, May 3, 1998

“Well, today again we have in the studio Professor Roland Bumper, who knows more than any living person about road rage.

“Now, Professor Bumper, what is it about cars that makes people rage so much more than in other vehicles? After all, air passengers get subjected to many more delays and disturbances than motorists, but air passengers don't start thumping each other or, indeed, the airport authorities.”

“Well, of course, that is true, but there are some very good reasons for that. One is that a motorist is a driver and an airline traveller is a passenger, so you are not comparing like with like. Passengers never get road rage, only the drivers.”

“Do airline pilots get . . . air rage?”

“Yes. Especially when denied landing rights, or a take-off slot, or when another aeroplane nearly hits them in mid-air.”
—Miles Kington, “Motorway knights in shining armour,” The Independent, May 22, 1996

Earliest Citation:
“If everyone knows there‘s a gun on board, you could have someone in a fit of air rage or suicidal attempt to get access to the gun,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the VioIence Policy Center, a gun control advocacy group.
—Eunice Moscoso, “House proposals call for putting guns in cockpits,” Indiana Gazette (Indiana, Pennsylvania), May 28, 1983

Notes:
This phrase has a couple of synonyms: sky rage (1996) and disruptive passenger syndrome (1998).

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