If you're excited about summer travel and you're not a seasoned air traveler, this list of pet peeves from frequent flyers is a study on what not to do if you want to stay in the good graces of your fellow passengers. The transportation management company, Genfare, polled 2,000 Americans who fly at least twice a year, and here's what made the list of the most irksome passenger behavior.
I fly approximately twice a month and I have a definite idea of what type of behavior – and smells – I don't want to witness from people on the plane.
You're Getting On Everyone's Nerves: Frequent Flyer Pet Peeves
1. Seat Kicking
Unless you spring for business class or first class, you don't have much space on a plane. If you have long legs, it can be a challenge to not let your knees bump up against the seatback of the person in front of you, but try.
2. Passengers Who Remove Their Shoes and Socks
No one wants to see or smell your feet. And, if you get up to use the bathroom in bare or stocking feet, you do realize that the “water” on the floor of the bathroom is not actually water, right?
3. Reclining the Seat Abruptly
To recline or not to recline is the subject of great passenger debate. You're cramped and reclining your seat gives you a little extra space but it can also put you practically in the lap of the person behind you. The generally accepted rule of airplane etiquette is to wait until after service to recline your seat, and even then, do so gently.
4. Getting Drunk
Not only is alcohol dehydrating – cabin air has very little humidity – one in the air feels like two on the ground. You probably don’t want to drastically lower your inhibitions when you can’t escape close contact with the strangers you’re sitting with.
Besides, if you’re a belligerent or sloppy drunk, being on the wrong side of the flight attendant isn’t where you want to be.
There's probably not a ton you can do about this but that doesn't make sitting next to a snorer any less annoying.
6. Rushing to Get Off the Plane As Soon As It Parks at the Gate
Yes, it seems like it can take an unreasonably long time between the time the plane stops and the time you can deplane, especially if you are in a hurry. And, if you've been sitting for a few hours – particularly if you've been sitting next to someone you're ready to bid adieu to – standing up as soon as the aircraft halts is what you want to do.
However, everyone is probably doing their best, even though it might not seem like that when the person in front of you is leaving their seat at a snail's pace and you know you're going to be running for your connecting flight. Even if you're in a hurry, realize that you have zero control over how fast the people in front of you move.
Manspreading is defined as the act or practice of sitting with the legs spread wide apart in a public seating area in a way that intrudes on the space of others. While women can be guilty of man-spreading, too, the average woman usually doesn't sit with her legs spread open. If your seatmate's legs are in the space meant for your legs, point this out to them or notify a flight attendant.
8. Smelly Food
That tuna sub or beef stick might sound – and taste – delicious, but the people sitting around you might not agree.
9. Body Odor
Take a shower or bathe before a flight and use an antiperspirant. Pop a toiletry kit in your carry-on and freshen up during a long flight. Everyone will thank you.
And, no. Axe Body Spray or similar is not a substitute for showering.
10. Putting Your Feet Up
While it might be tempting to rest your toes on the rear of the armrest of the passenger in front of you, just don't.
11. Chatty Cathy
While traveling might be a great way to meet new people, tune in to the body language of your fellow passengers before you decide to start a conversation that goes beyond basic pleasantries. Not everyone is going to be into socializing.
Monosyllabic answers and headphones are clear signs that your seatmate isn't into the conversation.
12. Crying Children
No one likes a crying baby. And think about it: the baby is crying because they're uncomfortable or unhappy in some way and the parents are probably also just as annoyed and frustrated with the crying, so it's not exactly a party all the way around. Glaring at the child or their parents isn't going to make the crying stop so pop in your headphones and try to tune it out.
13. Bright Screens
If you're watching videos on your phone or tablet in a dark cabin, adjust your brightness setting so you don't blind the people around you that are trying to sleep.
And, make sure you are using headphones!
14. Poorly Behaved Service Animals
It isn't up to any of us to be the judge of why someone is traveling with a service animal or comment on why they need a service animal, because “they look fine.”
However, a poorly behaved animal in close quarters is a poorly behaved animal.
15. Sloppy Attire
Air travel used to be synonymous with Sunday best attire. A trip on a plane meant wearing something you'd wear to church or a business meeting, although society has become more casual all the way around. Older and more formal passengers report not liking traveling with passengers wearing pajamas or skimpy workout wear.
16. My Personal Pet Peeves
The things that bug me most about other travelers were not included in the study but here they are just for fun. People who can't lift their roller board bags over their heads and people who don't know how to go through security. I'm all for going carry-on only but if you are not physically able to hoist your bag into the overhead compartment or traveling with someone who can help you, then check your bag. Sure, you'll probably find someone willing to help you but someone who can't handle their bag always is the one holding up the boarding process. On-time departures are everything.
And, while I try to be kind on the outside to someone who doesn't get that yes, you really need to empty your pockets and that it's not okay to put a full-size tube of toothpaste in your carryon, it makes me rage on the inside because I always seem to get stuck in line behind that guy.
Data courtesy of Genfare.