Annoying Habits on a Flight

What annoys you most on a flight?

There are lots of things that annoy us on flights. Perhaps because deep down we don’t like the travelling bit.

Here are my Top 20 Pet Hates.

Now come on be honest how many of these are you guilty of?

  1. Overhead Locker Trasher

You all know who I mean. You arrive on time, you board in an orderly fashion get to your seat, put your bag or coat neatly in the overhead locker and sit down. Then he arrives! The Trasher! His case is too big but instead of looking for space elsewhere or asking the attendant for help he proceeds to writhe and push his case into the space until your poor bag and belongings are squashed beyond all recognition.  He then turns and proceeds back down the aircraft and sits 20 rows away!!!

  1. The Amorous Couple

Is there really any need to suck each other’s faces in public on a plane?  The answer to this is no! Don’t do it!!!

  1. The Serial Fidget

Some people are nervous of flying and you can usually spot these by the white shade of their knuckles as they grasp the arm rests staring intently ahead of them.  But what about the leg shaker. The one whose knee constantly taps up and down.  The bum shuffler who turns from side to side every few minutes of the flight.  Or that person who constantly picks up the in flight magazine and flicks through before putting it back, then two minutes later does the same thing again. Does this annoy you?


  1. Trying to Board before your Row is called

Airlines have a system for getting passengers aboard in an orderly fashion. It is carefully thought out starting with priority passengers in the upper classes and passengers who have disabilities or walking issues who need to be settled before the hoards descend. Then it is a systematic boarding process to allow the plane to fill, normally from the rear, which when you think about it makes perfect sense, that way they can continue to let passengers on without them having to push past other passengers getting settled.

However, you always get the one who wants to be on-board now. They can’t stand the thought that all the overhead space is going to be gone by the time they get on, so they try to sneak through calmly and then delay everyone arguing this out when they get stopped.

  1. Inattentive Parents

Some people say they hate crying babies on flights but let’s face it. That is what babies sometimes do and you can’t blame them for this. What annoys me is in-attentive parents who seem to let kids run riot. They sit watching their movies or reading their books and seem totally oblivious to what their children are doing.  So, come on parents, no-one wants to stop the kids having fun but keep them occupied instead of ignoring them.

Kid-free zones on aircraft are one possible solution to this where airlines allocate a block of seats where children cannot sit, but really they just need to be watched over properly by their parents.

  1. Weak Bladders

This is a difficult one. If you do have a weak bladder then surely it makes sense to request an aisle seat if possible. Nothing is more annoying than having to constantly get up to let the person sat near the window out to go to the bathroom. You don’t mind a few times but sometimes it gets ridiculous. So, take this into consideration when booking and spare a thought for your fellow passengers.

  1. Chatting

There are two types of chatter which seem to annoy people. Firstly, the Mobile phone chatter, I mean who feels the need to call and tell someone they have sat on the plane, they have just landed, they are on the runway etc….” Then there is the Chatty stranger. Personally, I like a good old chinwag with a total stranger but apparently people on flights don’t like this? They just want to be left alone.

  1. Smelly Food

Not all flights include food, we know this and those that do may leave a lot to be desired. So, what do we do, we bring on our own snacks. So, when choosing which snack is suitable for the tightly packed space you are about to go into, maybe that Spicy Garlic sausage is not ideal?

  1. Loud Music

You may be wearing earphones but when you are sat so close to another person and you have the volume on full blast you can still hear that high pitched annoying sound. So, Turn it down!

  1. The Arm Rest Monopoliser

If you are sat with a friend or family member this is not usually an issue but if you are sat with a stranger, who gets the rights over the armrest? Is it bad manners to just put your arm there and watch whilst they have to sit crossed armed for the rest of the flight. Do you offer it to them first, hoping they will say no it is ok, or do you share the time?

  1. Poaching the empty middle seat

When you are travelling alone and know you will be sat with a stranger you all know that you breathe a sigh of relief if the middle seat is empty.  But then you always get that one person who then thinks it is his or her divine right to use the space. They put their belongings in it or swing their legs up into the space instead of just allowing you both to put up the armrest and spread out a little.

  1. Playing games on your Phone or iPad

This can be super annoying as people play games on their phones with the volume up so all you can hear is beep, beep, boop, beep and it drives you mad. So, use earphones or turn the sound off! It’s not rocket science.

  1. The Stripper

Why do people feel the need to strip down on a flight? They go to the bathroom and get into PJ’s at night, which is fine for young kids but not adults and I have even seen a passenger walking around in his boxers! If he had a body like Aljaz from Strictly then maybe I would not have minded but believe you me he didn’t.

  1. Coughs and Sneezes spread Diseases

Ideally you should not travel if you have a bug, but in reality, that is not always practical. So please use tissues and put your hand over your mouth when you cough or sneeze. It is common courtesy. Also, when you wake up after a long-haul flight do you really have to hork up that flem whilst everyone else on the plane listens? I don’t think so!


  1. People who feel the need to get off the plane the second it lands

Why do people spring to life when the seatbelt sign goes off? They jump up and out into the aisle, they push and shove like they are trying to escape something. Sometimes it feels a bit like you are in a zoo watching the primates.  So just Chill out, you will still get off the plane and by the time you get to the luggage carousel those pushers and shovers will still be waiting for their luggage like everyone else.

  1. Personal Hygiene and Space

This one is a delicate subject, but if you have ever sat next to someone who smells you will agree it is not pleasant.  So, if you have a tendency to sweat make sure you buy a good deodorant once you are through security because you can’t take them though unless you have found one under 100mls and take some hygiene wipes so when you visit the toilet you can freshen up.  A decent perfume or aftershave also helps to mask any unpleasant odours.

Personal Space is another issue. There is nothing worse than the stranger who turns and lays his head on you whilst he is asleep!

  1. Bare Feet

“Feet nudism” is a common complaint in surveys amongst frequent flyers.

I only added this in because apparently it gets people very hot under the collar but personally I can’t see why?  I often kick off my shoes and either pop on some flight socks or sit bare foot. However, I draw the line at visiting the toilet in bare feet. I have actually seen people do this and can’t think why they would want to. Think about what may have been dribbled on the floor. Yuck!

  1. The Toilet Troll

You know what it is like after you have eaten and had several drinks with it and you are busting for the loo. You go queue up at the 2 toilets near you. The person in front of you goes in but they don’t come out. Time ticks by and still they don’t come out. You worry that you should have packed your Tena lady and start to cross your legs subconsciously. What are they doing in there? They are certainly not being considerate of other people. You are just considering calling the cabin crew to check if they are ok when they stroll out and you notice the book in their hand!!! Really a book! It has happened to me on more than one occasion.

  1. To Recline or not to Recline?

That is the question. I am always courteous of others and don’t recline my seat unless we are on a night flight and everyone is going to sleep.  It is probably in most people’s book the most annoying thing. Why would you want to upset the person behind you? You can’t complain unless it is a mealtime as the cabin staff will not help. It is every passenger’s right to recline if they want. It is very selfish though. I have seen it provoke quite extreme reactions. People putting their knees up and pushing on the seat as hard as they can to annoy the person in front who is doing it etc…

  1. Kicking the seat Infront

Kicking, Tapping, Knocking, pulling on the seat back….  This is my own pet hate on a flight. Seats are not as solidly built as they used to be, and you feel everything. The slightest knock is transmitted through the frame.  Often this is kids, so Number 16 inattentive parents take heed. I have on more than one occasion had to turn and ask the row behind to stop their child pulling on the seat back or kicking it and it always gets an annoyed response but frankly I don’t care. I would never have let my child do this on a flight when he was younger.

So, These are my top 20? Honesty meter! How many are you guilty of?

I would love to know?

Or have you another pet hate I have not mentioned?




About Me

I have worked in the Travel Industry for 33 years, ever since leaving school. My Dad was in the Navy so I guess I get my wanderlust from him. I was a Manager in a successful Travel Agency for 16 years before joining I am married and have a son who…

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