- Our story about the most annoying things people do on planes generated hundreds of comments from readers, adding their own
- They included: drumming on the seat back tray, applauding landings and talking too much
- But the most aggravating behavior, mentioned by many readers, was using the seats as leverage
Our rant on the most annoying things people do on airplanes sparked more than 1,900 comments (and counting) from readers equally frustrated by other passengers.
Surely, there can't be any more than this?
"My biggest complaint was the guy who pulled down the table and used it to play drums ... I turned around to ask what he was doing and he just said 'I'm not doing nothing.'"
— Jan Bowlin
11. Tapping the seatback
"The worst are the Delta flights where you can also play interactive touch screen video games. You can have someone banging on the screen for hours."
"We were once seated directly behind a 20-something couple who each had one ear bud in and were singing VERY loudly and EXTREMELY poorly along with U2. It was bad enough for us, but it must've been ten times worse for the folks directly in front of them. Somebody complained to the flight attendant, who asked them politely to stop, and they had a fit. I was actually nervous there would be an incident, and their main defense seemed to be 'but we're from New Yahk' as if that made it completely acceptable to torture the rest of us. Thankfully they stopped, but it was a while before I could enjoy U2 again."
9. Nails on a plane
"I had to get a flight attendant to talk to a woman who decided to while away the flight by applying nail polish remover and then putting on fresh polish, trapping all of us in her toxic cloud."
— elvis costanza
8. Ignoring flight attendant instructions
"Most annoying: People who don't follow the rules the flight attendant just stated like putting your seatback up and staying seated until either the plane has stopped or the captain has said it's safe. 'Oh no, Mister Fatman in the seat in front of me. The rules are not for YOU of course.' I have actually had to stretch to reach the seat release button for the seat in front of mine just so I can get out of my own seat after the boor has deplaned."
7. Applauding landings
"How about people who applaud when the plane lands?"
"Cannot stand them!! On top of that, I find it annoying and ridiculous when they comment on the landing. 'Wow! That was a good landing, wasn't it!?' and the other guy responds, 'Yea! Great landing,' as if they are experts on pilot skills."
— Palaniappan Rajaram
"Drunkards. Some people abuse the free liquor on the flight, and sadly, it's not very nice to sit near someone who rings (for) the attendant every other minute to order something or the other to drink."
"I was a little surprised that drunks didn't make the list. While kids can be annoying I just put in some ear plugs and doze off but I can remember each flight I've been on where a drunk person got loud, belligerent and throws up mid-flight."
"This is not an exaggeration: watched this mom change her infant child's diaper on the drop down food tray of her adjacent seat (empty), then jam the dirty diaper in the seat pocket of the seat next to hers. Gross ... and highly inconsiderate."
"That is disgusting, and I've seen dirty diapers shoved in seat pockets more often than I'd like to admit, and used sick sacks, too."
4. Overstepping religious turf
"The woman next to me asking me if I 'have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.' Should of been on the list."
3. Don't talk to me. Period.
"What about the gabber. Thinks you want to hear about all their aches, pains, children, etc. Doesn't know when to shut up."
"The worst people are the people that can't shut up. Just shut up."
"People who INSIST on having a conversation with you. That's why I wear earplugs AND one of those eye-covers. But still, many ignore the signs of 'shut up, I'm sleeping' and keep yakking about nothing."
— Donna Casey
"I don't see my pet peeve mentioned -- people who insist on talking to you when you're trying to read or sleep. Look, dude, being seated next to you does not mean I have to listen to your life story. (An iPod helps.)"
— Jennifer Jonsson
"I love the white iPod earphones. they're so obvious. you don't even have to have them plugged into anything. only works about half the time, but if you keep pulling one out of one ear and saying 'sorry, what?' . . . eventually they (most of the time) get the message."
2. Perfume overload
"B.O. is bad but gagging on someone's excessive fragrance for hours is almost as bad. I was asleep as we descended and the woman in front of me, who was already drenched in cheap musk, decided she need(ed) a touch up and sprayed herself all over again. Trouble was, she missed and sprayed a full dose of it right in my open mouth."
— elvis costanza
"The top of my list are people who wear perfume or cologne on a flight. I understand that people want to smell nice but the air in a plan re-circulates so there is no escaping that chemical smell for hours. Just bathe before a flight, maybe use some deodorant, but there is no need to drench oneself in eau de parfum. On a plane, no smell is the best smell."
"Perfume or cologne -- do you really have to bathe in (it)? Many people are allergic, show some consideration!"
"The biggest pet peeve of mine is wearing a bottle-load of perfume/cologne. Yes, we all know body odor is horrible, but that cloud of noxious scent you dumped onto yourself just triggered my allergies and thanks to you I will be the one who's sneezing and sniffling on the flight, annoying the crap out of others but oh you've got to smell nice when you fly!!"
— Barb Smith
1. Using the seat as leverage
"Yes, one more! When the person gets up behind you and pulls on the back of your seat in order to lever themselves out of their cramped confines -- your head bobs back and then pings forward as they let go of the seatback and sashay off to the toilet. Irritating beyond belief!"
"I've had that one happen; it was much worse when I had long hair and their hand would actually trap my hair and rip a big wad of it out. I would recoil in pain and turn around and make eye contact, and usually they'd look at me like 'What?'"
"That's happened to me!!! I just stayed quiet. How awkward to be like 'Well, you ripped a chunk of my hair out, nice to meet you.'"
"Someone walking down the isle using seatbacks as handholds, pushing each (and springing it forward) as they move all the way through the plane. Saw this on an international flight (overnight) where one man would wake up 1/4 of the plane every hour as he strolled through the cabin. If you are too unstable to walk (turbulence is uncommon) use the overhead bins to brace yourselves."
— Jim Plourde
"Someone seated behind you grabbing your seat back and pulling it to help them from their seat. Nothing like having your neck suddenly jolted."
— Rob Barton
"This is one of my biggest complaints, too, but (it) illustrates how people are oblivious to the (effect) of their actions and couldn't care less about the person in front of them who just had the experience of an earthquake at 36,000ft."
Meanwhile, Cheapflights.com has surveyed more than a thousand Americans to find out their greatest travel woes.
Almost 20% said kicking the seat is the most annoying airplane behavior, followed by talking loudly and letting children misbehave.
While everyone has encountered these annoyances at one time or another, what do flyers usually do about it?
According to Cheapflights.com, the most common response is to "seethe quietly and do nothing" (34.9%), followed by "let it go/not be bothered" (34.52%).
Only 29.64% of passengers told Cheapflights.com they'll actually confront the offender.
How do you usually respond to discourteous behavior on an airplane? Let us know in the comments.