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SmarterTravel Editors’ Top Travel Pet Peeves

Everyone’s got a travel pet peeve, something that manages to get under your skin no matter what. But sometimes it’s good to vent your frustrations. With that in mind, here are our top travel pet peeves. Read on, and then share your own in the comments below.

Senior Editor Christine Sarkis: “It drives me nuts when I arrive at my row to find the seats empty but the overhead bin already full. I know that people sitting farther back consider it a time-saving technique to stow their bags in front of instead of behind their row and grab their bags on the way out, but it creates a frustrating domino effect for the rest of us that can be a serious inconvenience during boarding, in flight, and after landing.”

Senior Editor Sarah Pascarella: “My top pet peeve is people who travel in their pajamas. Seriously—there are so many wrinkle-free and comfortable outfits for traveling nowadays, it doesn’t take much effort to look presentable. Ditch the cutesy-print flannels and bedroom slippers for a basic knits outfit and actual shoes.”

Managing Editor Josh Roberts: “Until I became a parent, my top travel pet peeve was screaming kids on planes, hands down. Now that I’m a dad and seeing things from the other side, my biggest peeve is the people who get upset with kids (and their beleaguered parents) on planes. Oh, how the shoe is on the other foot now!”

Associate Editor Patricia Magana: “The travel pet peeve that irks me most is when air passengers skip out on paying baggage fees. Far too often, I’ve watched an opportunistic traveler walk up to the boarding gate with an obviously oversized bag. Since gate attendants are scrambling to get passengers onto the plane, they’ll simply suggest the luggage be checked in the plane’s cargo. This without charging for the same fee everyone else paid.”

Executive Editor Anne Banas: “My biggest travel pet peeve is when a plane lands late and flight attendants ask passengers to please let those with connecting flights off first, but hardly anyone does. Even if I’m not connecting, I still feel their pain knowing what might lie ahead and how those few extra minutes could actually have made all the difference. Really, must we be so selfish?”

Associate Editor Kate Hamman: “One of my biggest pet peeves while traveling is when I see people turn their noses up at foreign menus. Travel provides a window into a different culture, and one of the best ways to experience these nuances is through the regional cooking. I realize that there are limits to what tourists might eat, but I also think it’s possible to enjoy a meal at a local restaurant—skip McDonald’s, please—without making a scene about what’s on the menu.”

Assistant Editor Jacy Liechti: “My travel pet peeve has to do with everything carry-on. Three bags, oversized should-have-been-checked bags, bags that would fit under the seat but are placed overhead, and bags that are stored 10 rows ahead of the passenger they belong to … all these things frustrate me to no end! Can’t we all just play by the same rules?”

And, finally, yours truly: “My top travel pet peeve is when people start lining up before boarding begins. Airlines board by rows for a reason: it’s more efficient and less chaotic than a free-for-all. When people line up on their own, it just becomes a huge mess and prolongs the boarding process. Do people really think they gain an advantage by lining up early? Just wait until your row is called!”

Your Turn!

Share your own pet peeve in the comments below. Please keep it clean and polite. Thanks!

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