The 3 Worst Things You Can Do on an Airplane, According to a New Survey

Updated 05/02/18

Even for the savviest of travelers, boarding a flight can be full of annoyances. Everyone surely has experienced the horror of sitting next to a chatterbox, a snorer, or the dreaded seat-kicker. Travel site Expedia decided to put these common grievances to the test to uncover the very worst plane etiquette offenses. The site recently released findings from its 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study, revealing just what makes every traveler tick. Researchers surveyed 18,229 respondents from 23 countries across North America, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific to understand travel pet peeves from a global perspective.

Take a look at the worst kinds of poor plane etiquette, and check yourself next time you board a plane to make sure you're not committing a serious travel faux pas.

1. Kicking the Seat

Unsurprisingly, a majority of global respondents agree that the most annoying thing a person can do on a flight is kick, grab, or bump the seat in front of them. While reclined seats and minimal leg room can make accidental bumps an inevitable part of flying, according to the survey, 62% of travelers would notify airline staff about such an annoyance.

2. Smelling Unpleasant

In second place for worst plane etiquette is the aromatic passenger. Of respondents, 43% identified sitting next to a smelly traveler as the most annoying in-flight encounter. In case you do find yourself seated next to a person whose odor disrupts your flight, you can always keep a sweet-smelling lotion or scented product in your carry-on for emergency relief.

3. Being Inattentive to Children

Next on the list of annoying passengers are the parents of disruptive kids. It's a well-known issue, suffering through a long flight listening to a crying baby (of course, being the parent to said crying baby is no cakewalk). In fact, 39% of people list "inattentive parents" as the worst kind of people to be near on a flight. Although some tantrums are unavoidable, parents who, from fellow passengers' perspectives, neglect to soothe their young children rank high on Expedia's list of airplane annoyances.

Among the other top offenders noted in the findings were people who violate personal space and those who are insensitive to how much noise they may be making. The study also found that 90% of people agree that going barefoot on a flight is unacceptable and that 77% of Americans dread sitting next to someone who talks too much. Keep these grievances in mind next time you board a flight, and take some solace in knowing that most everyone is hoping to avoid the same things while traveling.

Travel Essentials for Proper Plane Etiquette

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