Have you ever been on a flight where passengers are noisily watching programs/playing games on their tablets yet not wearing headphones? I just don’t get it. Surely it’s common courtesy to pack your headphones and plug them in. On the last 3 flights I’ve been on, I’ve sat in close proximity to people playing their devices out loud. After being a bit British about it and politely trying to ignore the noise, I eventually worked up the courage to ask said passengers to either turn it down or put headphones in. Although I did chicken out of telling the parents of a Peppa-Pig watching toddler to turn it down, as the TV had stopped him bouncing on his seat and screaming.
Let’s face it, air travel in general is pretty annoying. We all get nervous in anticipation of whom we’ll be sat next to (please don’t smell, please don’t be a small child, please don’t snore). I get nervous about the actual act of flying so I’m sure that can be annoying for random strangers I sit next to! I’m also no angel when it comes to being the perfect airline passenger. I’m certainly not proud of the time I was the last passenger to board, stumbling on a little bit drunk (as mentioned I’m a nervous flier). I received quite a few tuts from passengers who were waiting to commence their journey. Then I fell fast asleep and woke up about 4 hours later covered in most of my dinner. I’m still not sure what went on during that time but suffice to say I won’t be mixing anti-anxiety meds and booze again (btw I was on a rare solo flight without my kids, I would never be that irresponsible with them in tow!)
Anyway enough about my bad behaviour, here’s my list of annoying plane passengers. Do feel free to let me know if you agree and add your own!
- You always knew this would be pole position – it’s those people who don’t own headphones. We don’t all want to listen to your show. Put them on! I wish all cabin crew were like the wonderful British Airways staff member who, in a bossy school ma’am voice, told off the person sitting in front of me for not wearing headphones.
- Smelly people. I know this is a bit difficult because you don’t always realise that you smell. But compound that with everyone taking their shoes off and it’s game over. I once sat next to someone so stinky that I had to smear lip balm all over my nostrils to block out the smell. I am not alone, AirlineRatings asked respondents to rank the types of passengers that they found to be the most irritating and “smelly people” was a top response for a whopping 78% of those polled.
- People who bring very smelly food onboard. The era of budget airlines means it’s becoming more commonplace for people to bring their own food onboard. I must say I did admire the group of people bringing a pizza box on to a flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok many moons ago. And I know my husband gets jealous of anyone unwrapping their airport Burger King. I was not such a fan of the lady who brought along a bag of chicken feet and spent ages slurping on them.
- Passengers who take ages to unload their bags and store them in the overhead locker. This is fine if you’re the first on, with very few people behind you. But when there’s a huge queue, you’re just holding everyone up. Ditto for people in security lines who suddenly register they do have an ipad to unzip out of their case.
- Snorers. I know it’s not necessarily your fault and I’m sure I’m guilty of it too! For this reason, I now carry ear plugs in my hand luggage.
- Passengers who are too large for their chair and spill into my seat.
- People who kick the back of your chair. It may be that you have extremely long legs and your knees are constantly grazing my seat. In which case, fair enough. Or annoying kids who just like to kick seats. My own children know that it’s not okay to kick the seat in front of them. If I catch them with their feet up on the seat, they get a stern telling off.
- Seat recliners! It’s like dominoes, as soon as one person goes, we all have to recline. I like to think we should come to a common understanding amongst passengers. Short-haul flights, let’s keep our space and not recline. Long-haul flights (especially overnight), okay let’s do it. But not during the meal service!
- If you’ve ever sat close to a toilet, you may have encountered passengers who like to queue in your personal space. Perhaps they’ll lean on your chair whilst they wait for the loo? Perhaps they’ll loiter in your foot space? Or have a chat to another passenger whilst you’re trying to sleep?
- Armrest stealers. It’s a tactical game to see who wins the coveted armrest. In theory, we should all have equal access to it. In practice, there are those who like to sit like a robot and hog both armrests. That’s why I like to surround myself with my children and that way, I can hog as much of their seat as possible (although in reality it’s more likely to be them draped across me…)