Travelers’ Biggest Pet Peeves Ranked

These are the behaviors of fellow passengers that annoy travelers the most (so don’t be that person).

Travelers’ Biggest Pet Peeves Ranked

Rushing to get off the plane as soon as it gets to the gate ranked in travelers’ top 10 flying annoyances.

Photo by Viktor Konya/Shutterstock

As hordes of travelers prepare to hit the road for the busy holiday season, it’s not unlikely that they will encounter some unsavory travel conduct along the way. A recent survey delved into the kinds of behaviors that irk travelers the most and many of them revolve around invading other peoples’ personal space and assaulting their senses.

Transportation management company Genfare recently polled 2,000 Americans who fly at least twice per year to determine the worst offenses when it comes to flying, using public transportation, and ridesharing. According to their findings, those interested in helping the bustling holiday travel season proceed more smoothly may want to think twice before using a fellow passenger’s seat as a lever, blasting music on their mobile device, or forgoing antiperspirant before hitting the road (we’re just saying).

The firm also asked travelers about other factors that can make or break a travel experience. It found that three hours is the average amount of time people can spend traveling before they start to feel uncomfortable. One thing that can help kill time is sleep, and the majority of travelers (three out of four) reported that they are able to sleep on a flight, with 34 percent admitting that they need a drink or a sleeping pill to fall asleep.

For some, flying is an opportunity to mix and mingle, but the majority prefer to lay low. One-third of respondents said they view flying as a way to meet someone new, while 57 percent said they don’t like talking to their seatmates. As for joining the mile-high club to help pass the time, 12 percent of respondents said that they have been intimate on a flight, and 23 percent said they have seen someone be intimate on a flight.

The survey was conducted online at the end of September, and the results were released earlier this month. The rankings are listed below.

Travelers’ Biggest Flying Annoyances

  1. Getting Seat Kicked
  2. Crying Baby or Child
  3. Body Odor
  4. Talkative Passenger
  5. Inattentive Parents
  6. Drunk Passenger
  7. Seat Pulled Back or Leaned On
  8. Snoring
  9. Rushing to Get Off Plane As Soon As It Gets to the Gate
  10. Reclining Seat
  11. Putting Feet Up
  12. Smelly Food
  13. Man-Spreading
  14. Passenger Removing Shoes or Socks
  15. Bright Screens on Phones
  16. Non-Service Dogs
  17. Dressing Sloppy (i.e., Wearing Pajamas or Sweatpants on Flights)

Interestingly, few travelers actually directly address an issue. The survey found that only 11 percent of respondents choose to confront an annoying passenger, while 25 percent simply sit quietly, 35 percent opt to put on their headphones, and 27 percent said they will tell a flight attendant.
And as for the long debate about whether it is cool to kick off your shoes on a flight, 64 percent of respondents said they feel it’s OK to take them off. Only 20 percent, however, said it’s OK to take socks off, and we’re kind of with them on that one.

Travelers’ Biggest Public Transportation Annoyances

  1. Talking Loudly on the Phone
  2. Body Odor
  3. Playing Music Without Headphones
  4. Taking Up Seats with Bags
  5. Not Giving Up a Seat for an Elderly Passenger
  6. Talkative Passenger
  7. Video Chatting Without Headphones
  8. Putting Legs or Feet on the Seat
  9. Smelly Food
  10. Man-Spreading

Clearly noise pollution and taking up too much real estate are among the touchier issues for public transit riders. When it comes to taking an Uber or Lyft, it’s the driver whose behavior is under the microscope. Bad driving habits and distracted driving were among the most-cited issues that ridesharing passengers had with their ride.
Travelers’ Biggest Ridesharing Annoyances

  1. Aggressive Driving
  2. Driver Talking on the Phone
  3. Dirty or Messy Car
  4. Hitting on the Brakes Too Hard or Accelerating Too Fast
  5. Talkative Driver
  6. Driver with Bad Taste in Music
  7. Driver Holding Their Phone
  8. Driver Eating a Meal
  9. Driver Who Asks to Be Rated Well
  10. Driver Who Asks for a Tip

>>Next: How to Get Through Airport Security Quickly

Michelle Baran is the senior travel news editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, pandemic coverage, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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