This Is the Most Offensive Thing You Can Do on an Airplane

Here's how to avoid or cope with the behavior of the most annoying type of airplane passenger.

This Is the Most Offensive Thing You Can Do on an Airplane Photo by g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Folks who constantly kick, grab or bump the seat of the person in front of them have been named the most annoying type of airplane passenger — for the fourth year in a row.

That’s according to Expedia’s latest annual Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study, for which more than 18,000 people from 23 countries were polled.

The goal of the study is to better understand travelers’ biggest pet peeves, and to help travelers experience more comfort and fewer annoyances, Expedia spokesperson Nisreene Atassi says.

The online travel company notes that seat kickers, bumpers and grabbers are likely to continue to hold this dubious top honor because the average amount of airplane seat legroom is decreasing.

For example, among the four major U.S. airlines, the average seat pitch — the distance between seats — shrank from 31-36 inches in 1985 to 30-33 inches in 2014, as USA Today detailed a few years ago.

Expedia’s suggestions for dealing with seat kickers are to:

  • Upgrade from economy class to premium economy.
  • Choose a seat in front of an exit row.
  • Politely notify flight attendants of the annoyance behind you.

Other common plane pet peeves include passengers who go barefoot or are excessively chatty or loud, the study found.

If you enjoy kicking off your shoes while flying, the good news is that it’s primarily bare feet that annoy many travelers. So, just keep your socks on and refrain from resting your feet on a seatback or stretching them into another row.

Most travelers also dread sitting next to someone who is overly talkative or loud, and would rather sleep on a flight than talk to other passengers. Expedia advises traveling with headphones or earplugs to cancel out unwanted uttering.

They may also come in handy if you stay at a hotel in which loud, unattended children roam the halls. The study found that inattentive parents are considered the worst type of hotel guest.

For more tips that will help you make your next plane trip smoother, check out:

So, what is your top travel pet peeve? Share it with us below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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