There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a plane with a bunch of people doing annoying things. But which kinds of passengers are the most irritating? To find out, Expedia.com asked its users. Here are the most infuriating people on the plane, according to Expedia’s Airplane Etiquette Survey:
10. THE OVERHEAD BIN HOG
Thirty-two percent of respondents hate this person. You know the one—she stows her probably too-big-for-the-space bag in the first available spot, nowhere near her seat. Thirteen percent admitted to being guilty of this in-flight sin, while 73 percent say they wait patiently until they reach their assigned seat before stowing their luggage in the overhead bin.
9. SEATBACK GUY
To recline or not to recline: Emotions run high around this question, and 32 percent of those surveyed can’t stand the ones who do. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of Americans say they would either prefer to have reclining seats banned entirely or at least restricted to set times during short-haul flights. Yet only 31 percent refuse to recline their own seats. Among the larger percentage who do lean back, 30 percent do so when they plan to sleep, 28 percent recline if the flight exceeds three hours, and 13 percent do so immediately after takeoff. Thirteen percent recline when the passenger in front of them does, domino-style, and 26 percent would recline their seat punitively if the passenger behind them was aggressive or rude. Twelve percent would still recline if the passenger behind them was tall, and 10 percent would recline even if the passenger behind them was noticeably pregnant.
8. THE QUEUE JUMPER
As soon as the plane lands, he darts into the aisle, cutting right in front of you. Everybody wants to get off the plane, Buddy. Thirty-five percent think it’s super-annoying that he doesn’t wait his turn.
7. CARRY-ON BAGGAGE OFFENDERS
Two pieces (one carry-on, one personal) that are the proper size, People. Thirty-eight percent find fliers who do anything else insufferable.
6. CHATTY CATHY
Three-quarters of those asked say that “small talk is fine,” but they really prefer to keep to themselves for most of the flight. We’re talking to you, the 16 percent of passengers who admit they use flights as an “opportunity to meet and talk to new people.” Two-thirds of fliers dread sitting next to you.
5. THE BOOZER
Just less than half (45 percent) of those surveyed dread the drunk guy on the flight. And only 10 percent say they drink more than two drinks during air travel, either at the airport or on the plane.
4. THE AUDIO INSENSITIVE
Whether it’s because of loud talking or loud music or other entertainment, half the respondents said this offender is annoying. In fact, a full third (37 percent) of people would actually pay extra to be seated in a designated “quiet zone” if the airline offered one.
3. THE AROMATIC PASSENGER
Body odor? Too much perfume? Strangely, only 50 percent of fliers mentioned this as infuriating.
2. INATTENTIVE PARENTS
Parents who exhibit little or no control over their children seriously irritate 59 percent of travelers surveyed. In particular, 53 percent find themselves exasperated by parents traveling with loud children.
1. REAR SEAT KICKERS
Sixty-one percent named this as the bane of their in-flight existence.
Honorable annoying mentions go to the Pungent Foodies (30 percent), Back Seat Grabbers (27 percent), the Inappropriately Amorous (26 percent), Undressers (26 percent hate those who remove shoes, socks, or more), Mad Bladders (24 percent), the Single and Ready to Mingles (13 percent), and Seat Switchers (13 percent).
Another fun fact: Just over 1 percent report membership in the Mile High Club, having been “intimate” on a plane either with a traveler they knew or a traveler they met onboard.
In the event a fellow passenger misbehaved noticeably, 49 percent would try to ignore the transgression, while 21 percent would confront the offender, 10 percent would surreptitiously record them using their phone’s camera or video, and 3 percent would passenger-shame them by publishing it on social media.
Despite the etiquette violations, 75 percent of Americans feel that “for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate.”