Just Give Me Some Space

Travel Annoyances

I’ve got to admit that I enjoy flying. It goes beyond just the knowledge that I’m about to travel to some interesting destination. I actually enjoy the process of getting there … most of the time.

There are moments on a plane that don’t thrill me. My main frustration is being seated next to someone with no sense of personal space. Yes, I know that the armrest isn’t very wide, but you still have to share it. And don’t get me started on people who think that the fact they have limited legroom means that their legs should stretch into my small area of the plane.

According to Expedia’s 2015 Airplane Etiquette Study, which was released this week, those participating in the U.S. study find seat kickers to be the worst thing to endure on a flight.

When asked to choose from a list of annoying behaviors, 61 percent of 1,019 study respondents cited butt-kickers as the worst of the worst.

“Inattentive Parents,” parents who exhibit little or no control over their children, ranked a close second with 59 percent; while the “Aromatic Passenger,” that passenger who exhibits poor hygiene or is in some other way giving off a strong scent, was the third least-liked fellow traveler, garnering 50 percent of the vote.

There were plenty of other annoyances mentioned by survey respondents. Here’s the full list according to the study.

1. Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 61% of study respondents)
2. Inattentive Parents (59%)
3. The Aromatic Passenger (50%)
4. The Audio Insensitive (talking or music) (50%)
5. The Boozer (45%)
6. Chatty Cathy (43%)
7. Carry-On Baggage Offenders (38%)
8. The Queue Jumper (rushes to deplane) (35%)
9. Seat-Back Guy (the seat recliner) (32%)
10. Overhead Bin Inconsiderate (32%)
11. Pungent Foodies (30%)
12. Back Seat Grabber (27%)
13. The Amorous (inappropriate affection levels) (26%)
14. Undresser (removes shoes, socks or more) (26%)
15. Mad Bladder (window seat passenger who makes repeat bathroom visits) (24%)
16. The Single and Ready to Mingle (13%)
17. The Seat Switcher (13%)

I don’t find too much to annoy me on a flight, as long as I have my own bit of space and I can drift off into my own world. What do you find annoying when you fly? Do you agree with the list from the survey? Have you found yourself exhibiting any of the behaviour on the list without realising that it could be annoying other passengers?

Here’s an infographic that displays the survey results. Click the image for a closer look.


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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist and blogger from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • I’m not fond of flying…period. I do it only on extreme conditions. I do think one of my major annoyances is the seat recliner. Since I’m tall, it definitely bothers me when people rob me of space.

    • I do wonder if some airlines expect me to remove my legs and store them in the overhead locker for the flight …. ’cause they certainly haven’t made room for them in front of my seat.

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