The Airplane Etiquette Study, published on Tuesday, November 10, has revealed the most frequent passengers’ pet peeves, and results might be baffling to some.
Research was conducted by GfK, an international market research institute based in Nuremberg, Germany. It’s the third report of this kind commissioned by Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.
The renowned agency, which allows users to book airline tickets, rent cars, buy vacation packages and make hotel reservations, wanted to investigate flying experiences among Americans. Specifically, the purpose was to rank the most vexing behaviors encountered by U.S. respondents, when traveling by plane.
Experts carried out 1,019 interviews, across a random sample of adult participants, between August 7 and August 9, 2015.
Overall, 75% of the respondents claim that other travelers are respectful and thoughtful of them, on most occasions. It appears that the most frustrating thing one can do in order to annoy fellow passengers is to kick the front seat.
61% of the respondents considered this their top pet peeve during flights, while a slightly smaller percentage of participants (59%) believed that inattentive parents who allow their children to misbehave and disturb others are the greatest source of irritation.
Rounding up the top three were “aromatic passengers”, whose poor hygiene or overly scented perfume or cologne were deemed insufferable by 50% of those who were surveyed.
Equally bothersome were “audio insensitive” travelers, who either speak too loudly or turn up the volume when listening to music or watching movies or shows, to the point where others around them are perturbed.
45% of the respondents were particularly unhappy when being around passengers who indulge too much in alcoholic drinks. Also, 43% expressed their displeasure with “Chatty Cathy” seatmates, who are overly friendly and willing to strike a conversation, even when their interlocutor is reluctant or exhausted.
Other similarly aggravating fellow passengers were those who take voluminous carry-on baggage with them (38%), those who are in an excess hurry to deplane (35%), or those who recline their seats without caring about the person behind them (32%).
There is also disdain for those who don’t stow their bags in their assigned spots, who consume nauseatingly smelly food, who engage in overly public displays of affection, who take off their shoes or socks or who frequently go to the bathroom despite having a window seat.
Results are slightly different from last year, when queue-jumpers triggered less nuisance, and those who hogged shared armrests made the top 10, whereas nowadays they are no longer considered that maddening.
Despite the fact that there are so many instances when air passengers are exasperated with those around them, passive aggressiveness is usually employed when dealing with such situations.
49% of the respondents choose not to react, and try to ignore the offender, 21% prefer a direct confrontation, while 10% make furtive recordings, and 3% complain afterwards on social media.
The findings are important, given that hundreds of millions of Americans opt for air travel on a yearly basis.
According to John Morrey, vice president and general manager at Expedia.com, greater emphasis should be placed on showing consideration for co-passengers, especially since airplanes are small, confined spaces, where it’s much more likely to step on other people’s toes.
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