The 17 Worst Types of Airplane Passengers
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The 17 Worst Types of Airplane Passengers

AIRPLANE ETIQUETTE
Jason Hetherington

The takeaway: don't be one of these people.

We've all been there: stuck for hours next to the worst airplane passenger on the history of the Earth, ever. That "worst passenger ever" looks different for everyone: over-talkative seatmates, parents ignoring their screaming children, the always-horrible over-recliner. Expedia recently released a survey consisting of opinions from 1,019 Americans on the biggest social crimes that can be committed 40,000 feet in the air. Read on and learn.

The Rear Seat Kicker Takes the Cake

Sixty-one percent of survey takers listed seat kickers as the worst possible type of passenger. In fact, 32 percent of the surveyed said they wished reclining seats would be banned altogether. Inattentive parents came in second with 59 percent. Third place was claimed by the "Aromatic Passenger" coming in at 50 percent.

Social Shaming

In the event of an in-flight disturbance, 49 percent of the surveyed said they would "sit quietly and attempt to ignore them." Twenty-one percent said they would confront the misbehaving passenger directly. A small 10 percent said they would record the situation on their phone—but only three percent admitted that they would actually publish the footage on social media.

Quiet, Please

When it comes to small talk, Americans are torn. Sixteen percent shared that they see air travel as an opportunity to meet and talk to new people. But 66 percent of surveyed fliers "dread" getting seated next to said conversationalists. That being said, only 37 percent of travelers would pay extra to sit in a designated quiet zone.

The Mile High Club

Despite how well known this, eh, "cultural phenomenon" may be, only one percent of the survey takers admitted to being actual members, either with a travel partner or with someone they met on their flight.

Other Offenders

  • Rear Seat Kicker: 61 percent
  • Inattentive Parents: 59 percent
  • The Aromatic Passenger: 50 percent
  • The Audio Insensitive (talking or music): 50 percent
  • The Boozer: 45 percent
  • Chatty Cathy: 43 percent
  • Carry-On Baggage Offenders: 38 percent
  • The Queue Jumper (rushes to deplane): 35 percent
  • Seat-Back Guy (the seat recliner): 32 percent
  • Overhead Bin Inconsiderate (stows bag in first available spot rather than nearest his-her seat): 32 percent
  • Pungent Foodies: 30 percent
  • Back Seat Grabber: 27 percent
  • The Amorous (inappropriate affection levels): 26 percent
  • Undresser (removes shoes, socks, more): 26 percent
  • Mad Bladder (window seat passenger who makes repeat bathroom breaks): 24 percent
  • The Single and Ready to Mingle: 13 percent
  • The Seat Switcher: 13 percent

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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