Passenger Shaming: Worst In-Flight Etiquette Violations

Do you find yourself annoyed with other passengers when you fly? Expedia.com® recently released the results of their annual Airplane Etiquette Study. Participants of the study ranked the most annoying passenger behavior. If you fly frequently it is likely you have witnessed many of the behaviors on this list. Social media has also provided a spotlight to share terrible passenger behavior or even live tweet it! There are even passenger shaming Facebook and Instagram accounts dedicated to sharing this unbelievable behavior.

The survey found the first and second most annoying behaviors are related to traveling with children. Rear seat kicking was the most annoying, with inattentive parenting coming in at a close second. If you travel with children, your fellow travelers would appreciate if you stop your children from kicking the seat (here are some tips), pay attention to your child during the flight, and do your best to keep them from being loud (see tips for flying with kids). As unbelievable as it may be, the third worst offense is being overly aromatic due to poor hygiene or too much perfume (a passenger has been kicked off a flight for this).

Passengers also do not appreciate overhearing a conversation three rows up. The audio-insensitive passenger was ranked as the fourth most annoying. And unsurprisingly, no one wants to sit next to the boozer who has had one too many.

Also interesting, is the majority of passengers prefer peace and quiet in flight. Only 16% of those surveyed said they enjoy meeting new people on the plane. And, 37% surveyed stated they would pay extra to sit in a “quiet zone.” It is hard to believe the airlines have not jumped on the opportunity to add a new seating area to charge extra for!

Thanks to the knee defender, passengers have very strong opinions about seat reclining. 32% of the survey respondents would like to have seat reclining banned or restricted during shorter flights. And 31% reported not reclining their own seat in-flight. The majority of those surveyed do recline their seats to sleep (30%) or during flights that are 3 hours or longer (28%). Have you ever retaliated against a rude passenger behind you by reclining your seat? 26% of the survey respondents admitted they would do this.

It is important to note that in this era of over entitled passengers, etiquette violations, and passenger shaming, 75% of the survey respondents felt that “for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate.”

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This article and infographic were created with the data from the Expedia.com 3rd annual Airplane Etiquette Study.


Business Travel Life

Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.

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Kristina Portillo, CPT, MS

Kristina is the founder of Business Travel Life. Her love of fitness and travel unified to create a resource for business travelers and road warriors who want to take a healthier approach to business travel. She has traveled for business on and off for the past eight years. Kristina received a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University and received her Bachelors of Arts in Business Marketing from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

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