Flying can be really annoying, new study confirms

ATLANTA, December 21, 2013 — Face it: Flying can be annoying.

From the required shoe removal at the security checkpoint to the lack of overhead space for bags to the overall cramped quarters, there are umpteen annoyances on the average flight.


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Thanks to a new survey from Expedia, it’s clear just which of the many irritations are the most annoying.

Per the survey, the five most annoying behaviors among fellow fliers are: inattentive parents (41 percent), the rear seat kicker (38 percent), the “aromatic” passenger (28 percent), the “boozer” (26 percent) and the Chatty Cathy (23 percent). Another 9 percent cited the “undresser” — “someone who removes shoes, socks or too many layers of clothing” — as the most annoying violation, good for No. 17 on the list.

Just wait until cell phone calls are allowed on flights. The 49 percent of Americans (and 59 percent of those 34 years old or younger) who said they would pay extra to be seated in a quiet zone is likely to increase if and when full cell phone service is allowed during flights.

Other interesting behaviors (some of which are surprising people actually admit):


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  • 39 percent of Americans cannot sleep on a plane (These must be the people sitting in front of the aforementioned seat kickers)
  • 22 percent consume at least two alcoholic drinks, including at the airport and on the plane (It seems like travelers should be happier — apparently most people who fly are belligerent drinkers)
  • 19 percent stuff their bags into the first overhead slot they can find
  • 15 percent board before their zone is called (Seriously, that’s it? This number is surely low or no one is actually assigned to zone three)
  • 10 percent are in the “mile high club” (Does anyone seriously wonder why so many people avoid the lavatories at all cost?)
  • 10 percent have ignored the carry-on baggage rules completely

Interestingly, 73 percent of those surveyed dread sitting next to a talkative passenger. That explains the headphones so many wear.

Coincidentally, 19 percent of respondents say turn down the music blasting from the headphones.

“Planes are flying full, and the holiday season is traditionally hectic, so in-flight etiquette is at a premium,” John Morrey, vice president and general manager at Expedia.com, said in a release. “Most of us, when we look at the list of offending behaviors, can admit to having committed one or more of the violations. So this season, perhaps we can all take care to be as friendly and accommodating to our fellow passengers as possible. After all, we’re quite literally all in this together.”

The survey, conducted on Expedia’s behalf by Northstar, included responses from 1,001 adult Americans.

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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo jouned The Washington Times Communities in May 2012. He covers travel and Georgia. A marketing professional who never gave up his award-winning journalistic ways, DeFeo revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He also serves as editor of The Travel Trolley.

 

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