Aarian Marshall is a transportation reporter at WIRED and former CityLab contributor. She lives in San Francisco.
No one likes an Overhead-Bin Anarchist.
It is sometimes difficult to determine whether we hate flying—or just hate other people. A new, annual survey of 1,019 airplane passengers by the travel company Expedia makes a strong argument for the latter: It finds that there are 17 separate behaviors of people on airplanes that drive at least one in 10 fliers nuts. What kinds of people did airplane passengers hate the most in 2015? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
The Seat Kicker
Sixty-one percent of survey respondents said they hate those folks who kick the back of the seat in front of them most of all.
The Inattentive Parent
Parents who don’t prevent their kid from, say, kicking the back of your seat drew the second-highest level of ire, with 59 percent of respondents choosing to rag on this kind of flier. (Quick reminder: parenting in small, enclosed space with shifting air pressure is very hard, you stinkers.)
The Aromatic Passenger
A strong smell in a tight tin can bothers 50 percent of travelers.
The Aurally Insensitive
Hey, loud talkers and those for whom headphones seem optional: 50 percent of respondents want you to pipe down so they can take advantage of the email-free zone and take a nap.
Forty-five percent of passengers believe that someone needs to learn to handle their liquor, and preferably on the ground.
The Chatty Cathy
The passenger who believes that fate has seated them next to a new best friend frustrates 43 percent of those surveyed. (However, 16 percent admitted they love to talk to strangers on planes.)
The Carry-On Baggage Abuser
Thirty-eight percent really want you to keep it to one carry-on and one personal item.
The Line Jumper
The traveler who sprints to deplane annoys 35 percent (though maybe she has a connection to make?).
The Rude Recliner
The lady who leans her seat right into the lap behind her is annoying to about 32 percent of respondents. Conflicts over this one have gotten borderline violent. Remember the Knee Defender?
The Overhead Bin Anarchist
This is the guy who stores his bag in the first available spot, rather than the bin above his seat, and he is among the worst for 32 percent of travelers.
Rounding out the list:
The Pungent Snack Lover, 30 percent
The Back-of-Seat Grabber, 27 percent
The Overly Amorous, 26 percent
The Undresser (remover of socks, shoes and more), 26 percent
The Mad Bladder (how many times can you pee on a two-hour flight?), 24 percent
The Single and Too-Ready to Mingle, 13 percent
The Seat-Switcher, 13 percent
It should be noted that the Expedia survey did not just find unreserved hate for humanity. Seventy-five percent of respondents said that “for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate.” Fifty percent said air travel is “fun and exciting.” And just over 1 percent are having a truly great time on airplanes: They’ve joined the Mile High Club, either with someone they’re traveling with or with someone they just met on the plane. At least some camaraderie is alive.
Top image: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com