Lack of Personal Space and Misbehaving Passengers Continue Reign as Top Air Travel Pet Peeves
Those flying frequently know that travel by air is inevitably fraught with petty annoyances and irritations, many of them a result of being enclosed in a small, confined space with other travelers for long periods of time.
Ironically, the results of this survey are being released on the tails of three highly-publicized in-flight fights resulting from disputes over a reclined seat.
Frequent Business Traveler and FlyerTalk, the world’s largest online travel community, inquired of readers and forum members as to their biggest pet peeves pertaining to air travel, focusing on the time spent in the air. The discussion thread on FlyerTalk has garnered over 30,000 views and is still going strong.
More than 1,800 readers responded to our survey. For the third year running, personal space issues and disruptive passengers topped the list, although personal space issues in particular dominated the top three rankings this year.
Three specific peeves related to personal space – insufficient legroom, a seatmate who takes up more than his share of space, and passengers who recline too far – were the top issues in this year’s poll. These pet peeves often have less to do with the behavior of other travelers than they do with the simple fact that the seats provided by airlines are too small and too close together for most passengers’ comfort.
Disruptive passengers, which ranked second last year, dropped to the fourth spot this year. Misbehaving children was the fifth most commonly reported peeve this year, followed closely by coughing or sick passengers and misbehaving adults, which ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. Rounding off the top ten list were rude cabin crew (eighth), smelly neighbors (ninth), and dirty lavatories (tenth).