Air Travel Pet Peeves: What Bugs You the Most at 30,000 Feet

By Dan Collins on 23 August 2012
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Time spent in the air often accounts for a significant portion of the frequent business traveler’s day. Therefore, the in-flight experience is paramount, but most travelers are still unable to find a restful environment, with enough space to work, in the air. No matter how many miles one has flown or how much of a tolerance they believe they have developed for aggravation, every traveler has a pet peeve.

To find out what makes the top of our readers’ list of pet peeves, Frequent Business Traveler partnered with FlyerTalk, the world’s largest online travel community, to develop and conduct a survey of in-flight pet peeves.  The survey was conducted in parallel with a discussion on about air travel pet peeves that elicited almost 200 comments and garnered 14,000 views.

More than a thousand Frequent Business Traveler readers and FlyerTalk members responded to our survey and the results were crystal clear.  The top peeves weren’t gratuitous ones such as not getting one’s choice of entrée in business or first, or having a non-functioning in-flight entertainment system.  Instead, it came down to one thing: lack of personal space.

New aircraft designs promise more room

Indeed, this peeve took up the top three spots on the list. Insufficient legroom, seatmates who take up too much space, and forward passengers reclining into them turned out to be bigger pet peeves than technological, environmental and in-flight service-related irritations, which accounted for the rest of the top ten.

Insufficient peace and quiet followed lack of personal space.  Misbehaving adults took fourth place (apparently, there are a lot of them), followed by loud passengers (fifth) and misbehaving children (sixth). Rude cabin crews placed seventh in our survey.  This suggests that in-flight decorum and a distraction-free environment are qualities important to frequent fliers.

The top ten is rounded out with smelly neighbors (8th), insufficient carry-on storage space (9th) and dirty restrooms (10th).

Click here to continue to Page 2The Top In-Flight Pet Peeves and Conclusions

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