Most Annoying Airline Passengers: Seat Kickers, Inattentive Parents Beat Odor Offenders, Boozers, And Queue Jumpers Two Years In A Row

For two years in a row, the most annoying airline passengers were those who had the nasty habit of kicking the front seat. These passengers have retained their number one spot despite being faced with worthy opponents like queue jumpers, boozers, and the barrage of inattentive parents traveling on America’s numerous airlines.

The Airplane Etiquette Study, which was extensively compiled by GfK, an independent global market research company, for travel advisory company Expedia, has identified the top annoying habits of airline passengers and neatly sorted them to indicate which of these annoying airplane behaviors irked fellow passengers the most. The study asked 1,019 randomly selected U.S. adults at equally random airports across America to rank the behavioral traits they found most annoying, reported Valley News Live. Speaking about the survey, John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia said:

“Expedia’s Airplane Etiquette Study is a lighthearted reminder that few places require more attention to etiquette than the inside of an airplane. Inside a packed plane at 30,000 feet, both good behavior and bad behavior are amplified. You’re in a tight space with hundreds of fellow travelers, so even the small things — helping your neighbor stow a bag or switching seats to put a mom next to her child — can make a huge difference. Respecting our fellow passengers is a small but important gift we can all give each other.”

Often the “gifts” are truly unwanted and unwarranted, but owing to fact that the passengers are locked in a steel tube high above the earth, there is nothing one can do, but endure, reported USA Today. Interestingly, this year’s study rankings aren’t that dissimilar to last year’s results:

An overwhelming 61 percent had experienced the incessant knee taps or downright kicks to the back of their already-cramped airline seat, reported Boston Globe. Expedia’s third annual Airplane Etiquette Study also revealed that passengers were significantly bothered by inattentive parents who simply chose to look the other way when their wards misbehaved during the flight.

Almost 60 percent of the airline passengers who chose to participate in the poll revealed they have been aggravated by kids running wild in the plane. With nothing else to do, but endure the tantrums the little rascals threw, majority of the airline passengers could do little besides grumble. Incidentally, a similar survey meant to highlight the troubles of hotel guests, indicated the same problem of inattentive parents, bothered the guests.

Beside the seat kickers and inattentive parents, the list of most annoying airline passengers included those who indulged in alcoholic drinks during a flight. But these excessive drinkers weren’t as annoying as the “aromatic” passenger. Those with a penchant for powerful scents and perfumes are as bad as those with offensive body odor, lamented 50 percent of those who participated in the survey. Equally annoying were those inconsiderate passengers, who considered themselves music aficionados or those who needed to have lengthy phone conversations.

Most Annoying Airline Passengers
(Photo by Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

Airline passengers were also frustrated by talkative people, which are often labeled as “Chatty Cathy”. These were followed by carry-on baggage offenders, who skillfully manage to clip every seated passenger on the head. And in the dread case such passengers also happen to be queue jumpers, then the same bags would clip the passengers while disembarking as well. Those who lugged large pieces of luggage and hogged overhead bins also made it to the top 10 most annoying airline passengers list this year.

The list also included the passengers who slowly removed their pieces of clothing, starting with their shoes and socks, which allowed their offensive foot odor to waft over other passengers, nauseating them. Airline passengers can only hope that the “undresser” doesn’t have the added personality trait of being “amorous”. These overly affectionate people deliberately touch other people inappropriately, sending a shiver down the spine of unsuspecting airline passengers.

Here’s the ranked list of etiquette violators, with percentage cited by study respondents:

  1. Rear seat-kicker (61 percent)
  2. Inattentive parents (59 percent)
  3. Aromatic passenger (50 percent)
  4. Audio-insensitive (talking/music) (50 percent)
  5. Boozer (45 percent)
  6. Chatty Cathy (43 percent)
  7. Carry-on baggage offenders (38 percent)
  8. Queue-jumper (rushes to deplane) (35 percent)
  9. Seat-back guy (aka seat recliner) (32 percent)
  10. Overhead bin inconsiderate (stows bag in first available spot, rather than nearest to his/her seat) (32 percent)
  11. Pungent foodies (30 percent)
  12. Back-of-seat grabber (27 percent)
  13. Amorous (inappropriate affection levels) (26 percent)
  14. Undresser (removes shoes, socks or more) (26 percent)
  15. Mad bladder (window seat passenger who makes repeat bathroom visits) (24 percent)
  16. Single and ready to mingle (13 percent)
  17. Seat switcher (13 percent)

[Photo by Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images, Darren McCollester / Getty Images]