Airplane passengers who invade personal space or let their kids go crazy are the most annoying, a new survey finds.
These people are nightmares at 20,000 feet.
“Seat kickers” (a.k.a. “seat bumpers” and “seat grabbers”) were ranked the worst passengers to encounter during a flight for the fourth year in a row, according to Expedia’s annual Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study. More than half (51%) of the more than 18,000 travelers surveyed across 23 countries called out these seat disruptors in particular for making their flights a living hell.
The other most frustrating fliers included:
- The Aromatic Passenger (43%)
- The Inattentive Parent (39%)
- Personal Space Violators (34%)
- Audio Insensitive (29%)
Going barefoot once you board the plane was also universally despised by more than 90% of respondents, which is why almost three in four Americans claimed to always keep their shoes and socks on during flights. (If you simply must get comfy, Expedia suggests just kicking off your shoes, but leaving your socks on. And never, ever put your feet up on the back of the seat in front of you, or encroach into the next row.)
And we get antisocial up in the air, as almost 90% of Americans said they prefer to keep to themselves during a flight, preferring to sleep (69%) than to talk to another passenger. In fact, 77% of Americans actually “dread” sitting next to someone who talks too much. Wearing headphones is one way to deter chatty passengers, or drown out those unattended kids. But if you start snoring, expect one of your fellow passengers to snap you out of it, as 54% of travelers agreed that it’s OK to wake up snoring passengers.
We’re flying increasingly unfriendly skies. More than 58,000 unruly passenger incidents were reported on aircraft in-flight between between 2007 and 2016, according the International Air Transport Association. And it’s getting worse: While the overall number of incidents dropped slightly between 2015 and 2016, the episodes have gotten more severe; escalating to verbal threats of physical violence, tampering with emergency and safety equipment, or physically abusive and obscene behavior.
It’s not much better for globetrotters once they land. Expedia’s survey also delved into the worst hotel guests, and dubbed these four characters the worst hallmates:
- The Inattentive Parents (45%)
- The In-Room Revelers and The Hallway Hellraisers (41%)
- The Complainers (29%)
- The Party-goers and The Bar Boozer (27%)
Travelers also reported that they would be most “annoyed” to check into a room crawling with bed bugs, a used condom or steeped with the lingering scent of cigarette smoke or a foul smell.
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