Don't annoy the hostesses on your flight? We're judging you too.
Don't annoy the hostesses on your flight? We're judging you too. Lindsey Jackson

AIR DESPAIR: Our most hated bits of plane travel

WE all travel on planes and have our share of horror stories, but what really drives us to despair in the air?

Global airline safety and ratings site Airlineratings.com surveyed its readers on 10 passenger types who they felt caused the most grief on planes in their annual "Passengers From Hell" survey

Respondents were asked to rank passenger types 1 to 10 from the most irritating to the least.

Here's what the ratings said annoyed you in the air.

1) Body odour/poor hygiene

According to AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, the level of frustration for the smelly passenger reflects a decline in hygiene standards.

"There has been a significant shift in passengers' gripes about their fellow travellers, who are either not conscious of their odour or don't care," said Mr Thomas.

"With online or cell phone check-in now widespread, offending passengers are slipping through the traditional checks and only coming into contact with airline agents at the boarding gate. The agents, under pressure to get the flight away, let offenders slip through."

2) Runaway, or uncontrolled children

If you're a parent, you've been there. However it's those parents that think letting them go without any supervision that get you in trouble.

On runaway kids, Mr Thomas said that "many parents think that the other 300 passengers on board are babysitters."

The top two survey results also reflect the editor's choice for the most annoying passengers.

3) Passengers who recline their seat.

Hey you. Yes you! I guarantee your legs are not more important than mine. Don't lean back, and I promise I won't - especially before meal service! This has long been the most annoying trait.

4) Passengers who hog the armrest

People are getting bigger, and the planes are getting smaller, and comedian Jim Jefferies even dedicates part of his stand-up routine to it. Learn it, do it. We're not animals after all. Passenger etiquette dictates that the passenger in the middle seat gets both armrests.

5) The increasing amount of carry-on

On most standard single-aisle aircraft there is not enough overhead baggage space to accommodate all the carry-on baggage. Luggage is getting expensive. That doesn't mean you can bring your 27 changes of clothes and the kitchen sink and say it's under 7kg. Get that bag underneath.

6) The passenger with the weak bladder.

You know who you are. Did you go before the plane took off? Up four times in an hour flight? Pick the aisle seat.

7) The chatterbox

Sometimes we want to engage, sometimes we just want to chill out. Read the signs. If we don't want to talk, don't.

8) Exercises in the aisle

Especially if you're flying domestic, unless you've got hips that look like Wil Anderson's (who dedicates his latest comedy show to this subject) - you're probably not going to get DVT on an hour flgiht. A quick stretch and a walk will do it.

9) The arrogant passenger

It's cramped, and there's only one way down the aisle, so wait your turn. They're not your personal attendant, so don't treat them like one. Be patient, and be understanding, and you might not endure their wrath, or worse, ignorance by being annoying.

10) The window hogger

Need something to play with? Grab an iPad, not the window shade. Leave it up, or leave it down, but leave it alone.


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