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Survey Reveals The Most Annoying Passengers On Flights

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If you have never had another passenger annoy you during one of your flights, count yourself lucky! Most travelers have run into a passenger that irritated them at some point during a flight. The more you fly, the more often you see (or smell) passengers that clearly aren’t the rest of the flight’s favorite character. In a recent survey, travelers were asked which behaviors from other passengers annoyed them.

Below are the top 10 most annoying passengers on flights, as well as the percentage of respondents who found their behaviors annoying.

Man standing in plane annoyed at waiting in line during flights

1) Passengers Who Kick the Seat

Percentage of Respondents: 59.11%

Unsurprisingly, passengers found those who kicked the back of their seats to be one of the most annoying things a fellow passenger can do. As a direct physical attack on travelers’ personal space and comfort, it makes sense that this is at the top of the list.

2) Passengers Who Get Drunk and Unruly

Percentage of Respondents: 59.11%

Drunk and unruly passengers tied with seat kicking for 1st place, and it’s no surprise why. Once you are thousands of feet in the air in a metal tube, there’s no way to walk away from a situation. Unfortunately, some passengers can’t handle their alcohol, leading to highly uncomfortable and even dangerous situations like the one below.

@disgruntled_trini Drunk airline passenger🥴 #🇹🇹🇹🇹🇹🇹 #trinitiktokers🇹🇹🆙️🔥 #trinidad #trini_tiktoks #fypシ #foryou #foryourpage #you #disgruntled_trini #PNM #for ♬ original sound – disgruntled_trini

In the best case, you’ll have to put up with snoring from someone who had a few too many. In the worst case, threats of physical violence have occurred. This particular behavior can go from annoying to dangerous quite quickly.

3) Passengers Who Smell Bad (or too Good)

Percentage of Respondents: 48%

Nearly half of respondents said passengers who smell bad from poor hygiene or wear too much cologne annoy them. Being stuck in a giant flying tube with hundreds of other people is bad enough. Add in unpleasant smells, and it becomes a whole different experience.

4) Passengers Who Are Negligent Parents

Percentage of Respondents: 46.81%

Negligent Parent on a plane sleeping on flights

Trailing behind bad-smelling passengers are parents who aren’t attentive during flights. Almost half of the respondents said parents who don’t attend to their children annoy them on flights. Unfortunately, this behavior often coincides with the #1 most annoying thing – seat kicking.

5) Passengers Who Eat Strong-Smelling Foods

Percentage of Respondents: 39.8%

Similar to #3, passengers who eat foods with a pungent smell can annoy the people around them. However, these smells aren’t quite as annoying as passengers who smell bad.

6) Passengers Who Hog the Armrest

Percentage of Respondents: 39.07%

Man hogging an armrest

Nearly two out of five respondents thought passengers who hog the armrest are annoying. You probably understand what they mean if you’ve been stuck in the middle seat with two armrest hogs.

7) Passengers Who Recline the Seat All the Way

Percentage of Respondents: 38.25%

Reclining the seat on an airplane has been a debate among travelers for years. Still, about 38% of respondents agreed that this was annoying behavior.

Man reclining seat all the way in plane

8) Passengers Who Talk to You Too Much

Percentage of Respondents: 29.87%

Getting stuck in a conversation is a nightmare for many travelers, but at least while on land, the option of walking away is available. Thousands of feet in the air, there’s no getting away from a talkative passenger. However, beginning the flight with headphones may help avoid getting caught in unwanted conversation.

9) Passengers Who Board or Deplane Out of Turn

Percentage of Respondents: 29.60%

Passengers boarding a plane

Everyone has witnessed the eager passengers who jump out of their seats and dash down the aisle only to wait for the plane doors to open. Maybe they are afraid of missing a connecting flight, or perhaps that’s just how they are. Either way, nearly 3 in 10 respondents found this annoying.

10) Passengers Who Listen Have Their Headphones Turned Up Too Loud

Percentage of Respondents: 28.96%

Planes are loud as it is and often drown out a lot of background noise. If someone’s music is so loud that you can hear it, it’s probably too loud. This trailed just behind passengers who skip their turn boarding, with just under 3 in 10 saying loud music or movies annoy them.

Passenger holding headphones in plane

Noteworthy Extras

Several more annoying passengers that didn’t make the top 10 were passengers who take off their shoes, passengers who use overhead space far in front of their seat, and passengers who practice too much PDA. One thing remains clear. Packing a few hundred people together in an enclosed space for a few hours can certainly bring out some behaviors that annoy fellow passengers.

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Saturday 24th of September 2022

I don’t understand why some people would feel annoyed if they see others taking off their shoes. Not only does it allow for better blood circulation, but it is also common practice in some Asian countries.


Saturday 24th of September 2022


Agreed. I always take my shoes off in Biz or First if I have a lie-flat seat. I generally have socks and slippers, but still, shoes are off.


Friday 23rd of September 2022

Passengers who complain constantly as they think they are on their private jet.


Friday 23rd of September 2022

For me it's definitely horrible parents who can't control their kids, that in turn kick the back of the seat, can't stop crying, won't shutup and just overall don't behave. If you have no desire to discipline your kids, then don't have any!!!

Sahana Kulur

Friday 23rd of September 2022

Except for 2, 3, 5 - I have been the victim of rest 7 things! Especially, the seat kickers 🥺


Friday 23rd of September 2022

reasons aside, crying or screaming babies are the most annoying hands down. no amount of noise canceling technology blocks out human crying noises