The most annoying things you can do on a plane

By Marni Dixit May 1, 2018
Passengers on plane

Are you guilty of these things?

If you’re about to jet off for a holiday anytime soon, you may want to brush up on your airplane etiquette before you leave – especially if it’s a long-haul flight.

Expedia has released their 2018 Airplane Etiquette report to highlight the things some people do in the air that are simply not tolerated by fellow passengers. The study involved 18,229 respondents from 23 different countries. 

The report also reinforced the importance of selecting your seat with 98 per cent of respondents saying they prefer the aisle or the window seat. 

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in the dreaded middle seat (or window for that matter) and needed to run to the bathroom but haven’t been able to because the aisle passenger is asleep, right? While many Aussies chicken out of waking up their aisle buddy (only 31 per cent of people said they’d wake them up), many opt for risky manoeuvres such as:

 – 29 per cent climb over them with their back facing them

 – 25 per cent stay and wait for them to wake up

 – 15 per cent climb over them, facing them

Seat climber

Another dilemma many face is finding the best time to recline their seat. Again, many Aussies are divided, with 40 per cent stating you should only recline your seat for flights over 3 hours. In fact, 20 per cent of Aussies believe it’s rude to recline your seat, period. Other results:

 – 47 per cent recline only if they’re going to sleep

 – 17 per cent recline as soon as the seatbelt sign goes off after take-off

 – 20 per cent follow suit if the person in front of them does

 – Another 20 per cent recline after meal service has taken place

Tuna sub on plane

These are the most annoying plane behaviours according to the report:

1. The seat grabber (60 per cent) – the person who constantly bumps and grabs the seat in front of them when they get up out of their seat.

2. The inattentive parent (45 per cent) – the parents who pay no attention to their child whether they are crying, whinging or misbehaving.

3. The aromatic passenger (44 per cent) – poor hygiene or the polar opposite of wearing too much perfume or cologne.

4. Personal space violator (35 per cent) – passenger who gets too close or falls asleep on or near you on the flight.

5. Audio insensitive (22 per cent) – passenger who talks loudly disturbing the peace in the cabin.

6. Queue jumper (21 per cent) – passenger who rushes to deplane before those seated in front of them.

7. Pungent foodie (13 per cent) – someone who brings particularly whiffy food onto the plane.

8. Baggage mishandler (13 per cent) – someone who hogs all the overhead locker space or hits you with luggage on the way down

Annoying plane passenger

Expedia travel expert Lisa Perkovic, who travelled overseas 11 times last year, commented on the new report:

“With the launch of ultra-long-haul flights, time in the sky is getting longer so being stuck in a cabin with an inconsiderate passenger can start the holiday off on the wrong foot. There are some simple ways Aussies can ensure people around them have a relaxing and pleasant flight. 

“Patience, politeness and planes are a match made in the sky, so we encourage Aussies to take a deep breath and think about how they can be a better passenger on their next flight.”

The fact is, us Aussies are so far away from a lot of other countries so having consideration for other passengers on long haul flights is very important! Here are Expedia’s tips for plane peace:

1. Introduce yourself before the plane takes off and establish ground rules – this works well if you’re in the middle or aisle seat. Start by asking the aisle seat if they would like to be woken up or climbed over during the flight.

2. Warn the seat behind you if you’re going to recline your seat – even if the passenger behind hates people who recline seats, they are going to appreciate that you gave them warning, rather than just putting the seat back.

3. Keep your feet on the floor, not on the arm rest in front – no one wants to see feet peeking through when then they are trying to sleep on the plane. If you need the extra leg room, take the magazines and menu's out of the seat and put them in the hold.

4. Be prepared - get what you need out of your bag before take-off so you don't have to ask to access the hold once everyone is settled.

5. Be respectful and nice to air hosts – it is not only common courtesy, but you never know when you might be in luck for an upgrade, or even an extra snack or two!

6. Use arm rests effectively – not only are arm rests for comfort during the flight, but they can be leaned on for getting in and out of seats, avoiding grabbing the seat in front.

7. Patience – be patient when lining up before the flight, during the flight and departing – no one likes a queue jumper

Patrick Stewart

Follow these rules and you'll probably start making a lot of friends on your flights!

Images: Getty and Jimmy Kimmel Live