Things We Love To Hate: 17 Airplane Travel Annoyances

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

What bothers you most when you're flying? Armrest hogs? Aggressive recliners? Stinky seatmates? 

Genfare — a company that works with transportation companies to update and improve systems for collecting transit fares — decided to get to take the pulse of air pax by conducting a study with 2,000 people who fly at least twice per year.

As a result, the company identified the 17 top travel annoyances for airline passengers. Well-travelled Open Jaw readers may have experienced all of them at one time or another. 

“Getting from point A to point B has never been easier thanks to technology. However, we all know that the one aspect we can’t always control is the bad travel behaviour of fellow passengers," says Tara Farnsworth, director of marketing at Genfare. 

Without further ado, here are the survey results. Feel free to weigh in with your own pet peeves.

Top 17 Air Travel Annoyances

  1. Getting Seat Kicked - 54%
  2. Crying Baby/Child - 27%
  3. Body Odor - 26%
  4. Talkative Passenger - 23%
  5. Inattentive Parents - 21%
  6. Drunk Passenger - 18%
  7. Getting Your Seat Pulled Back or Leaned on - 17%
  8. Snoring Passenger- 15%
  9. People Rushing to Get off Plane as Soon as it Gets to the Gate - 15%
  10. Passenger Reclining Seat - 15%
  11. Putting Feet up or Between Seats - 13%
  12. Bringing Smelly Food on Flight - 11%
  13. Man-Spreading (a.k.a sitting with legs wide apart) - 7%
  14. Passenger Removing Shoes or Socks - 6%
  15. Bright Screens on Phones or iPads During Nighttime Flights - 3%
  16. Non-Service Dogs - 2%
  17. Dressing Sloppy (ie. wearing pajamas/sweatpants on flight) - 1%

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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