Behavior of Other Passengers Tops Pre-Flight Air Travel Pet Peeves

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By Jesse Sokolow on 11 June 2015
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A quick visit to almost any major airport will confirm that flying is no longer glamorous. Many travelers refer to air travel as taking a bus in the sky, and being confined in a small space for multiple hours is not always going to bring out the best in everyone.

What, then, is the excuse for poor behavior at the airport?

Frequent Business Traveler and FlyerTalk, the world’s largest online travel community, in partnership with ExpertFlyer, a leading air travel information tool, wanted to find out, and so we asked readers and forum members to rank the most egregious pre-flight air travel peeves. We defined this as things that occur from the time one books (or tries to book) a flight until one is on the jetbridge.


1.) Others Blocking Gate when Your Group is Called to Board

It turns out that what bugs people the most prior to a flight is something that should be very easy to fix. Airlines are continually trying to reinvent the boarding process with new arrangements of stanchions and rope, but the basic boarding process is similar on most carriers. Indeed, almost every airline uses some variation on back-to-front boarding, sometimes calling out groups of row numbers and sometimes using zones. A few variations are outside-in, which has been used by United Airlines, and the free-for-all process made famous by Southwest.

Several FlyerTalk members pointed out that some gate agents simply allow the boarding process to fall apart and don’t bother to enforce whatever policy is in place. Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature for people to start to get on line when they see others queuing up so this problem may be with us for quite a while.

2.) Clueless Travelers

The number two pet peeve was “clueless travelers.” If you’ve ever wondered why flight attendants still explain how to fasten a seat belt during the safety briefing, clueless travelers are the reason.

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