WELCOME ABOARD--OR PAY UP, SIT UP AND SHUT UP

How ugly is it getting up there? Real ugly: American Airlines says the reported number of incidents of verbal and physical abuse of crew members in 1995--900--was nearly triple that of 1994. Other carriers report similar increases, the result no doubt of more agitation on the ground and in the air. We hate to fly, and it shows. "It's absolutely gotten worse," says frequent traveler Heidi Weisman, 32, of Los Angeles. "I expect lots of waiting, pushing, shoving and uncomfortable seats. I can't remember the last time I was comfortable."

While these are the best of times for airline companies--rising stock...

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