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18 Of The Most Annoying Things People Do On Airplanes

By Alessia Paolone February 13 2020

image source: Shutterstock
image source: Shutterstock
  • One out of five people gets sick after traveling by airplane.
  • Flying is extremely safe: 1 in 11 million deaths occur while flying. The risk of dying in a car accident is 1 in 5,000.
  • About one out of five people have Aviophobia, a fear of flying.

If you are planning your next vacation, chances are you will need to book a flight. Flying is the safest way to travel, it saves a lot of time, and it is often the only method that will get you to your destination. Despite having all these qualities, there are a few things you should watch out for. Fellow passengers tend to do annoying things during flights, so cross your fingers that your neighbor is normal and respectful!

18. Arriving Late

Late passengers are annoying because they delay flights. Flight crews will often call out the late clients several times and give them extra time to board the plane before actually taking off. This is unfair to responsible travelers who arrive on time.

17. Taking Forever Loading and Unloading Overhead Compartments

People who take forever loading and unloading overhead compartments are annoying because they create traffic jams in the plane's narrow aisle. This may not seem like a big problem, but when just a few people do this, it becomes impossible to get to your seat or out of the plane. In the end, you spend twice as much time standing around waiting for others to get organized.

16. Listening to Music or Movies Without Headphones

Fellow passengers who decide to listen to music or watch a movie without the use of headphones are annoying for obvious reasons. It is rude to assume you would want to hear what they are listening to, especially if you would like to relax. People who typically do this tend to use obnoxiously loud volume levels, doubling the annoyance factor.

15. Placing Their Feet Outside of Their Designated Area

If you've taken a plane before, you have surely noticed this very annoying trend. People spread their feet everywhere and are disturbing to everyone around them. Passengers will prop their feet on the backseat in front of them and kick the person's back all flight. If they're polite enough not to do this last one, chances are they have their feet sprawled across the aisle, making it difficult for passer-byers to walk without feeling like they have to go through an obstacle course. Feet straight ahead, please!

14. Eating Loudly

Sitting next to someone who chews or eats loudly can be more annoying than you would think. Can you imagine trying to relax only to hear your neighbor chomp-chomp-chomping away? ANN-OY-ING. For many, loud eaters are the equivalent of nails scratching a blackboard. For some, it is an actual disorder called Misophonia, where certain sounds can actually trigger an emotional or physiological response like rage and/or panic.

13. Getting up Frequently

Another annoying thing people do on airplanes is getting up often. Why would they choose a window seat if they are just going to keep getting up? This is very annoying because it forces you to pause everything you are doing, awkwardly hold your things and hope nothing falls, then position yourself in the weirdest position hoping to make yourself smaller for them to get by. What makes it even more annoying? You have to do it all over again when they get back to their seat! If you do not have a large bladder, choose the aisle seat next time.

12. Hogging the Armrest

Something that is really annoying on airplanes is when you share an armrest with an armrest hog. You can never get yourself comfortable and are confined to keeping your arms tight to your body as if you were wearing a straight jacket. For some reason, people seem to believe the armrest belongs strictly to them!

11. Snoring

People who snore while sleeping can also be extremely annoying. It is distracting, especially if you are trying to fall asleep as well. This one is especially annoying because it is likely not their fault they are snoring, so it's hard to blame them for it. Being annoyed with something they cannot fix is extra annoying.

10. Coughing, Sneezing or Other Bodily Functions

Having to hear or even smell people's bodily functions like coughing, sneezing or other is not only annoying but also kind of gross. Studies show that you can get sick if you are sitting near someone who is sick and sneezing or coughing.

There are tips, thankfully, on how to avoid catching anything on planes.

9. Reclining Their Seat

When people choose to recline their seat on an airplane, it is extremely annoying for the person sitting behind them. For the person sitting in back, they see the backrest dropping down quickly in front of them without warning. If their tray is out with drinks, it may cause spillage or the tray can pin them to their seat.

8. Always Requesting a Flight Attendant

Passengers who constantly call for the flight attendant are very annoying. They are constantly reaching up for the call button, often getting in your way. By calling the flight attendant over, it creates jams in the aisle by blocking it, so more people are in your space.

7. Drinking Too Much

Many people have a fear of flying (it is one of the most common phobias) and could decide to drink to feel less stressed. It becomes annoying, however, when they decide to get drunk, loud and disruptive. Their drinking suddenly becomes your problem. Remember, moderation is key!

6. Eating Smelly Food

When people bring smelly food on the plane, it turns your travel experience into an unpleasant one by tickling one of your senses. That Lox, tuna or egg sandwich is probably super tasty, but not something that is pleasant for others to smell. It can take hours for the smell to subside too. Gross.

5. Talking Too Much

People who talk too much can be really annoying if you are trying to take a nap. It might be difficult to ignore them or tell them you do not want to talk, so you could be stuck having a conversation rather than getting some rest.

4. Dropping Things

When your plane neighbor keeps dropping things on your side, it can get annoying pretty quickly. You are consistently interrupted as you have to pick their items up. This can quickly feel like the longest flight ever. No butterfingers here, please!

3. Rushing to Get Out

Once landed, people who push to make their way through are really annoying. They jump out of their seats the second the plane lands and appear rushed to disembark. They do not respect any line-up or order that is in place. This is annoying because it causes more delays in the end, as family members look for each other in the plane. Just wait your turn.

2. Clapping

People who clap for the pilot when the plane lands are so annoying. It is a loud noise, and it is completely unnecessary. It is more civil to kindly thank the staff as you exit the plane, and also shows your recognition for a safe flight. Save the clapping for the shows.

1. Having Bad Hygiene

If the person sitting next to you practices bad hygiene, the smells can be really annoying and especially disturbing. There is nothing worse than smelling your neighbor's stinky feet or sweaty pits for hours at a time.

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