The Traveller's Magazine icon
The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

No one wants to be that traveller. The annoying one the locals loathe and the one other airline passengers talk about under their breathe. As much as we like to rag on the airlines for their annoying habits, what about those of fellow travellers? Here’s how NOT to be an annoying travel-mate.

We all know those travellers, the ones with the incessant cold, the ones with too much carry-on luggage, the ones who just don’t stop chatting next to you. We’ve gone over the 10 most annoying things people do on planes but here are our tips if you want to avoid being that very annoying traveller. For the benefit of all travellers everywhere, follow our advice.

Keep your carry-on luggage simple

Avoid being that passenger with too many carry-on bags, over-sized bags or the one that hogs all the room in the overhead bins. One of the few things that are actually good about low cost airlines is that they teach us how to pack simply and without excess. Travel long-haul and you battle with travel pillows, blankets, purses, laptop bags and a suitcase. Pack it into one bag, to avoid battering all the other passengers already in their seats as you plough down the aisle.

Get your cold under control

The only thing worse than travelling with a cold, is travelling next to someone with a cold. If you’re about the fly and you’ve got the flu or a terrible cold, get it under control with the most powerful over-the-counter meds you can get your hands on. Bring enough tissues, cough drops and supplies for the duration of your flight to Italy, or wherever you’re going.


Be polite if you’re on the phone

Just because you have a sales report to deliver to your manager as soon as you land, doesn’t mean that everyone else in Economy wants to hear about it. And believe us, everyone can hear it. Wait until you disembark from your flight and are in the terminal to have any conversation that will last longer than, “Hey mum, just landed, see you in 10.”

When the plane reaches the gate, stay seated

Don’t get up and grab all your bags right away out of the overhead lockers. Don’t rest them on the seatback because you can’t hold it comfortably as your hunch under the overhead bins, waiting to leave the plane. Just take it easy.

Time your WC visit strategically

This one applies for all the passengers who get up to go to the toilet at the exact moment the flight attendants are carting food or drinks down the aisles. Take advantage of the free aisles when you can. Also, if you’re the passenger in the middle of the row, try your best not to disturb your sleeping neighbour. If you see they’re settling in to take a snooze (eye mask on, earplugs in, blanket on) then best to nip out before they get too comfortable.

Ask for favours only if you’re desperate

Don’t worry, we still believe in humanity and that travellers are typically willing to help out the traveller next to them but the following requests really are a step too far:

  • “You don’t have anything under the seat in front of you, do you mind if I put my extra bag there?”
  • “Do you need that extra pillow? I can’t sleep with only one pillow.”
  • “Would you mind switching seats? I didn’t want to pay extra for assigned seating and I want to sit next to my boyfriend.”

Follow airline seat etiquette

Seatbacks and tray tables are the topic of countless forum discussions. We introduced you to the Knee Defender a little while ago, to reign in on those travellers who love to travel with their seats back the entire flight. Remember: look before you lie back, use only the space that you need and be considerate if you’re in the row in front of a bulkhead. The travellers behind you cannot recline their seats at all. And at mealtime, sit up straight.


Well that’s enough ranting from us! What about you? What are the most annoying things other travellers do, in your opinion?

Imgs: simon_sees, miggslives, elaws / Flickr cc.

Looking for your next trip? Find the best flights with us!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

footer logo
Made with for you