Lack of Personal Space and Disruptive Passengers are Biggest Air Travel Pet Peeves

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1.)        Insufficient Legroom

DSC_0335The top pet peeve, for the second year running, was not having enough legroom. To accommodate more passengers and increase revenue, airlines have been putting more seats into coach and reducing pitch or the space between each row of seats, while adding legroom to premium-economy sections.

Considering the amount of time frequent flyers spend in the air every week, and the inherently cramped nature of an aircraft (and a pervasive trend to limit availability of upgrades to business class), this pet peeve is understandable and unsurprising.

For some, such as FlyerTalk member ksandness, legroom is a key deciding factor in choosing which airline to fly.  The poster noted that he “stopped flying NH when they went to 31″ seat pitch and came back to them when they returned to 34″..”

2.)       Loud or disruptive passengers

DSC_0387They say that you can’t choose your family.  The same sentiment applies to those who are in your aircraft – a group of strangers who have agreed to share a small space with you for a multi-hour voyage.  For those few hours, these strangers become your family, and, as anybody with a sibling can remember, family members can be annoying in their own right.

When asked about his biggest pet peeves in the air, FlyerTalk member Paul45 summed it up in two words – “other passengers.”  Included in his lengthy list were “loud obnoxious folks on the plane who chatter constantly” and “passengers who think they are special and the rest of us are simply there to comply with their every wish.”

The cost of a plane ticket has fallen 50% over the past 30 years and more people than ever are taking to the skies.  Many of whom may not have flown before and may be unfamiliar with airplane etiquette.  Observers opine such boorish behavior as part of a general decline in courtesy and of civilization.  Whatever the reason may be, loud or disruptive passengers has leaped up in this year’s poll, and, try as we might, there’s no way to predict and prepare for their unruly or rambunctious nature.

3.)        Seatmate taking up too much space

DSC_0664While insufficient legroom is usually an expected consequence of flying in coach, seatmates who encroach on your space is a wild card.  FlyerTalk member rsqrott refers to these seatmates as “space hogs – [those who] extend their legs under your seat, occupying your precious leg room.”  While this can be remedied by politely requesting the relocation of said limbs, those seated next to a passenger who is larger than the actual seat are less lucky, as the latter cannot immediately control being too large for the seat’s width.

Being constrained from the side can be just as irritating as having insufficient legroom or having the passenger in front reclining into one’s knees.  With the inability to plan for such an occurrence, and particularly because it does not have to happen, it is easy to understand why this peeve rounded off the top three list.

In addition, the trend towards coach seats that are 17” wide (while the standard was, until recently, 18”) has further exacerbated this problem.

Click here to continue to Page 3Air Travel Pet Peeve Chart and Conclusions

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