What are your top travel annoyances? In its annual survey of the things that really get on our nerves when flying, the travel experts at Expedia have lifted the lid on what really annoys airline passengers. And for the fourth year in a row, the so-called “seat kicker” has once again taken the top spot – with over half of global respondents identifying this behaviour as their biggest frustration when flying.
Expedia says passengers just can’t stand their seatmates, kicking, grabbing or constantly bumping into their seat – a problem they think is only getting worse as the width and distance between seats on many airlines continues to shrink. It’s made all the worse, given the fact that 90% of American’s just want to keep themselves to themselves during a flight.
“Whether you’ve been on one vacation or 100, you’ve likely experienced some form of annoying behaviour while travelling,” explains Nisreene Atassi, from Expedia. She continued: “Our goal with this study is to better understand travellers’ biggest pet peeves and offer tips to help them maximize comfort and minimize annoyances.”
The study, which sought the views from over 18,000 people in more than 23 countries, identified five types of passenger that are most likely to wind-up everyone else onboard (especially if you happen to be sitting next to them):
- The seat kicker
- The aromatic passenger
- The inattentive parent
- Personal space violaters
- The audio insensitive
Other types of annoying passenger included the ‘queue jumper’, ‘pungent foodies’ and of course, the ‘armrest hog’. Infrequent travellers who take too long at the security line also have a habit of frustrating experienced travellers.
And the survey even answered this important airline etiquette question – is it okay to go barefoot on a plane? Well, aside from the fact that airplane cabins are full of dirt, grime and germs, your fellow passengers definitely don’t think this is acceptable. In fact, over 90% say it just ain’t okay to go barefoot.
“Getting comfy on a long flight is tough, but there is a happy medium to avoid grossing out seatmates,” says Expedia.
“Only remove shoes, and never prop feet up on the seatback or encroach into the next row.” No excuses.
There were also some other fascinating insights the survey kicked up, including the fact that South Korean passengers are apparently the most likely to get drunk on a flight. Thai and American travellers followed close behind.
By the way, for any snorers out there, over half of respondents said its fine to wake up a snoring seatmate.
A recent flying etiquette survey from British Airways also came up with some similar results – with 87% of people saying removing your socks and going barefoot is a no-no and 67% of travellers of the opinion that you should only claim one armrest for yourself. Although, 45% of British and American flyers think the armrest belongs to whoever got to the seat first!
And how about if you’re trapped in the dreaded middle seat and need to get past a sleeping passenger to use the lavatory? Most people think its okay to wake a sleeping passenger but if they’re a heavy sleeper then the correct etiquette is to climb over them face-to-face.