Seat kickers, inattentive parents and ‘aromatic people’ are most annoying plane passengers

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Rear-seat kickers costs the most fury among plane passengers according to the Annual Airplane Etiquette Study, which identifies passenger behaviors that most infuriate fellow travelers. Out of all behaviors, including boozing, excessive chatting, undressing and inattentive parenting, one earns the most fury: rear-seat kicking.

The study solicited feedback from 1,005 Americans aged 18+. It was commissioned by Expedia and conducted by GfK, an independent global market research company.

John Morrey, vice president and general manager, “The Airplane Etiquette study shows that small acts of decorum can go a long way. After all, as it relates to flights, we are quite literally all in this together.”

Personal space and peace of mind are paramount

64% of Americans cited the “Rear Seat Kicker” as the most problematic passenger, edging “Inattentive Parents”, defined as “parents who have no control over, or pay no attention to, their crying, whining or misbehaved children.” “Aromatic” passengers – those with poor hygiene or those wearing excessive cologne or perfume – are the third least-liked, followed by the “Audio Insensitive”, the passenger who talks loudly or listens to music without consideration for fellow fliers.

“The Boozer,” a drunken, disruptive person, annoys almost half of his fellow passengers. “Chatty Cathy” – the neighbour who strikes up conversation and won’t stop – frustrates 40% of American fliers.

What do we do with annoying passengers?

Americans report that they are reluctant to address misbehaving passengers directly. Sixty-two percent would choose to alert the flight attendant to have them handle, while 33 percent would endure in silence. One in ten respondents would “confront a misbehaving passenger directly,” while 13 percent would record the offending behavior via their phone camera. And five percent would turn to social media: 3 percent would “shame a fellow passenger’s behavior via social channels,” while 2 percent would simply “tweet about it.”

Mile high club

Just under 3 percent of Americans report having “been physically intimate” with a fellow passenger aboard a plane. “The Amorous” passengers – couples who display an “inappropriate level of public affection” towards one another – were cited disapprovingly by 28 percent of Americans.

The full ranked list of onboard etiquette violators includes:

1.     The Rear Seat Kicker                                               

(cited by 64 percent of respondents)

2.     Inattentive Parents                                                       

(59 percent)

3.     The Aromatic Passenger                                            

(55 percent)

4.     The Audio Insensitive                                                  

(49 percent)

5.     The Boozer                                                                       

(49 percent)

6.     Chatty Cathy                                                                    

(40 percent)

7.     The Queue Jumper                                                        

(35 percent)

8.     Seat-Back Guy                                                                 

(35 percent)

9.     The Armrest Hog                                                           

(34 percent)

10.   Pungent Foodies                                                            

(30 percent)

11.   The Undresser                                                                 

(28 percent)

12.   The Amorous                                                                   

(28 percent)

13.   The Mad Bladder                                                            

(22 percent)

14.   The Single and Ready to Mingle                               

(18 percent)

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