5 Annoying Passengers On A Longhaul Flight

I recently experienced the longest direct flight of my life, a knee stiffening 15 hours from Hong Kong to New York.  Thankfully I was travelling WITHOUT my kids.  That said, I did get to spend time with some of my fellow passenger’s children – from a kid who would sing loudly (and badly) to a tiny newborn, prone to tears every now and then.  I found myself throwing them evil looks and tutting under my breath until I realised – no, I wasn’t going to be the fellow passenger that I dread seeing when I fly with my own kids.  It also highlighted that actually kids aren’t the annoying ones.  Here are the 5 people who you need to watch out for:

  1. The one that wants to make friends.  You know the one who is desperate to tell you their life story and why they’re flying to X destination.  Best to smile and put your headphones on as soon as you can.
  2. The immediate seat recliner.  This passenger flouts the rules and puts their seat back pre take-off despite protestations from the cabin crew.  Causes a domino effect whereby we ALL have to put our seat back to get comfy.  You can’t do much about this one, other than politely asking them to put the seat back up when it’s time for your meal.
    Seat Recliner
  3. The space hogger.  Has already stolen your legroom with their hand luggage before you’ve even boarded the plane.  Either give it a swift kick with your leg when you sit down and stick your elbows out to reclaim your arm space or keep offering to stow their hand luggage for them.
  4. The smoker.  All clothes and skin emanate smoke so badly that anyone within a small radius feels like they too have smoked an entire pack of Marlboro reds.  Start coughing, claim asthma and demand to be moved.
  5. The fat person.  Already invading your seat with their thighs.  I once asked to change seats as my obese neighbour was stealing so much of my seat (I blamed my move on the child kicking me in the seat behind).  

Who do you dread sitting next to on a longhaul flight?

  • Rachel G


    The one who wants to be your friend is my least favorite!!

  • whisperingwriter


    Yup! I always seem to be behind someone who wants to recline their seat all the way. Sometimes I want to say, “Shouldn’t you at least buy me something before you rest in my lap?”

  • Andy


    No. 2 is the absolute worst, with no.1 coming at a close second (the only reason it’s not first is that some folks can be very pleasant/well-meaning)…but No.2 is offensive in the extreme and requires immediate and sustained kicking to the back of the seat (or shuffling oversized items into the seat-back pocket) to instill manners.

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