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Airline Passengers We Love to Hate – Are You One of Them?

Here’s a list you don’t want to be on: Expedia’s newly released list of the most aggravating travelers.

Based on feedback from more than 1,000 American adult travelers, the Airplane Etiquette study details the types of conduct air travelers find most annoying, and ranks those behaviors according to their degree of offensiveness.

Surprisingly, to me, passengers who insist on reclining their seats, impinging on others’ personal space, was not the most reviled activity. What the study labels the Seat-Back Guy was well down on the top-10 list, cited by just 35 percent of respondents. On the other hand, the Rear Seat Kicker, who in many cases is reacting to Seat-Back Guy’s intrusion, was the most offensive of all traveler types, mentioned by 64 percent of those surveyed.

The story line that emerges from combining those two results would seem to be: “I’m entitled to recline my seat, and don’t you dare kick my seat back when I do.”

The other findings are more in line with my own sentiments, and with the sentiments expressed by my readers.

Here’s the list of the 10 most aggravating traveler types:

  1. The Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 64 percent of respondents)
  2. Inattentive Parents (59 percent)
  3. The Aromatic Passenger (55 percent)
  4. The Audio Insensitive (49 percent)
  5. The Boozer (49 percent)
  6. Chatty Cathy (40 percent)
  7. The Queue Jumper (35 percent)
  8. Seat-Back Guy (35 percent)
  9. The Armrest Hog (34 percent)
  10. Pungent Foodies (30 percent)

With airlines now routinely flying more than 80 percent full, and coach seating more cramped than ever, common courtesy can be the only thing preventing outbreaks of air rage.

To resurrect a meme from another era: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Reader Reality Check

What’s your top beef when it comes to other travelers’ behavior?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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