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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

It’s bound to happen to you at some point or another on a flight; someone slamming their seat back as soon as possible into your lap, the person behind tapping their foot, “tap, tap, tap” on the back of your chair and the person next to you dozing off way too close to your face. But are these the most annoying things people can do on a plane?

You’re travelling solo and hope that every person coming down the isle doesn’t have the seat next to you but finally the person bound for that seat arrives. You’re hoping they’re cool or at least quiet and polite so you can get some shut-eye.

If you’re a frequent traveller you know that you win some and you lose some. As for annoying passengers, some just take the cake. Here are the 10 most annoying things people do on planes, not to give you any more ideas…

10 most annoying things people do on planes

  1. Digging through the overhead bins constantly. First it’s the headphones, then maybe gum, a book and then some snacks… up, down, up, down.
  2. Sitting back in full recline for the entire flight, thereby forcing the person behind to also recline, creating a domino effect whether people want to recline or not.
  3. Snoring. If you know you snore, please for the sake of the people around you, do something about it. If you’re in reach of the snoring culprit, a few seat kicks should encourage them to change position.
  4. Sitting near a passenger with a cold that coughs and sneezes within your personal bubble which naturally shrinks three times its usual size on an airplane.
  5. Every article on how to fight jet lag says to steer clear of alcohol and caffeine but it doesn’t stop some passengers from downing one after another, becoming loud and over-excitable.
  6. Frequent potty breaks from the person in the window seat, making the other two passengers get up and down repeatedly. If you have a small bladder or drink lots of water while you travel, grab an aisle seat.
  7. Passengers that let their children run free without even attempting to calm them down, quiet them or distract them from disturbing the entire cabin.
  8. Stinky feet in enclosed spaces are never good. Thank goodness some airlines like British Airways provide passengers with a spare pair of socks for the sake of, well, everyone.
  9. Blasting music/movies from headsets. Trying to sleep in-flight is hard enough without having to listen to the drama film you chose not to watch coming from the headset of the person next to you.
  10. Sitting next to an arm rest warrior. In a row of three seats, all occupied, who has the right to the middle two armrests?

What are the things that annoy you most on planes?


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5 responses to “10 most annoying things people do on planes

  1. I’d like to comment on two of your personal annoyances first:

    #5 Both alcohol and caffeine are mild diuretics. The reason you are being given so much liquid on a plane (juice, water, coffee, wine, etc) is to force you to use the toilet, because that will ensure you will get up and stretch. Sitting for 12 hours even if you are sleeping is bad for your health.

    #6 Believe me that most of those who like to get up and stretch and who need to use the toilet often always look for an aisle seat but they are hard to come by.

    What I find most annoying is people sitting in front of you who carelessly recline their seat while you are eating or have a glass or cup in a seat holder.

    Next most annoying thing is when I have a middle seat (because I couldn’t get an aisle seat mind you) and people who sit next to me don’t want to let me out because their partner is sleeping. Newsflash — you paid to travel with other people, not to sleep. Using toilet is a necessity, sleeping is a not. If you want to sleep so much then pay more for first or business class.

  2. I could name quite a few things actually. I am a frequent flyer and have come to notice all the annoying things that people do on planes. #1 is people can’t let go of their phones, Ipads etc during take off and landing. They are tol dto do something yet they feel it doesn’t apply to them. When that happens, I make sure I remind them loudly to make sure I’ve embarrassed them. #2 is people getting on the plane and dropping their case / bags in the overhead available overhead lockers meaning that when you get to your seat, there will be no space left for your bag.. #3 unruly kids and parents doing nothing about it. I could go on but will stop there for my sanity…

  3. Ah, that's terrible! That's when you pull out the elbow jab to wake him up and then suddenly pretend you're sleeping… and then hopefully you can doze off before he starts snoring again!

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