12 Characteristics Of Airplane Passengers We Absolutely Can't Stand (11 We'd Love To Sit Next To)

Traveling is a one-of-a-kind experience, but it's not always as glamorous as it may seem. While visiting exotic locales is definitely exciting and gets your adrenaline pumping, it can also come at a price. Of course there's always an adjustment period for adapting to new climates, cultures and customs and obviously, jet lag is real—ask anyone who travels a lot.

Another thing to keep in mind is when you're booking your airplane ticket, you really need to be mindful about where you sit. Most people opt for the window seat to have a view or a place to rest their head to catch up on some Z's. Others prefer to be on the aisle so they have a little bit more leg room and can get up and out easily enough to stretch their legs.

But the one thing you can't really control is who you're sitting next to. We've all been there—on a red-eye flight, exhausted and next to someone who seems like they're physically trying their very best to be as irritating as humanly possible.

There are a lot of qualities we don't love in an airline passenger and some we definitely do appreciate. Next time you travel, be mindful of those around you and maybe avoid doing some of these 'faux-pas' and choose to be a more delightful passenger. Trust us, you don't want to be that annoying traveler on the plane. Treat others how you want to be treated and remember that everyone is probably tired and cranky from long flights or those pesky layovers.

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23 Can't Stand: The Recliners

via: Pinterest

Yes, we get it. The seats do recline. But how annoying is it when the person in front of you reclines their seat the first chance they get and boom—there goes a big chunk of your precious leg space.

Legroom is such a hot commodity that losing this early on will definitely put you in a bad mood right off the bat. You could then recline your seat right away too, but then you're just as bad as the first person. Stop the madness! Be respectful of other people's space especially if you notice they're on the taller side.

22 Can't Stand: The Armrest Hog

via: Daily Mail

Would somebody please think about the person stuck with the dreaded middle seat? The window seat for sure gets at least one armrest, as does the aisle seat—but what happens when these two passengers decide to rest their arm on the other side?

The middle person definitely has the worst seat already—they don't get a view, they don't get more leg room, they have to bug you to get up to use the washroom and they don't have anywhere to rest their head to have a nap. They've suffered enough—give them their armrests. Nobody wants to sit next to someone who hogs the armrests so don't be that person.

21 Can't Stand: The Snoring Away

via: Escape

It's inevitable that people will fall asleep while on plane rides, especially if it's a longer flight. But the worst person to sit next to is somebody who snores super loud or is it just a restless sleeper and constantly moving about in their seat.

Some airline passengers may even try to use your shoulder as a headrest and there isn't anything much worse than that. If people can sleep sitting upright and being quiet, then more power to them. Otherwise—let's just hope we're not sitting next to them.

20 Can't Stand: The Bad B.O.

via: The Daily Dot

Definitely one of the worst characteristics of an airline passenger is bad body odor. We can only hope that people shower beforehand and even take a break to freshen up in the washrooms during those extra long flights.

It's really difficult to relax and get through a super long flight when you have to sit next to someone who smells bad. And it's likely something you won't want to bring up to them either so you pretty much just have to grin and bear it. Awkward and uncomfortable.

19 Can't Stand: The Noise Maker

via: Shutterstock

Long flights can be extremely boring, especially if you don't have a TV or headset to distract you. But the worst is when people play a game on their phone or tablet and have the volume turned way up (or even just on in general). If you don't have earbuds, it should be on silent, always. We don't need to hear all the beeping noises of you reaching a new level.

Also, passengers who listen to music through earbuds so loudly that you can hear every word of the song is a huge problem.

18 Can't Stand: The Crying Infants

via: Business Insider

Obviously sometimes parents have no choice but to travel with their infant child. We get it. This can be a tough scenario because as horrible as it is to listen to, you can't really be mad at the parent.

They're probably really embarrassed and stressed out when their baby won't stop crying on the flight. Bring some earplugs along or just listen to music to drown out some of the cries. Other than that, there's really not much else you can do. Just hope you're not sitting anywhere near a baby, especially if it's a long flight.

17 Can't Stand: The Seat Kickers

via: Pinterest

Kids are usually the number one culprit for this. Everyone who travels has experienced a seat kicker or two and it is not pleasant at all. It's hard to relax when someone is constantly taking jabs at your back.

If you're unlucky enough to be sitting in front of a seat kicker then, by all means, turn around and ask them (or their parents) if they can please stop. Sometimes they may be completely oblivious to it and if brought to their attention they should (hopefully) stop. If you don't bring it up, it'll bother you the entire flight and you'll never get any peace.

16 Can't Stand: The Overhead bin Hogger

via: Travelocity

Hogging the overhead bins is not cool—period. It's not ideal for your fellow passengers or even the airline attendants who have to scramble around last-minute before take off to try and fit bags in other rows.

If it's all full, you're forcing others to store their precious belongings somewhere that is not easily accessible for them which will likely stress them out and make them more anxious when flying. Be respectful and bring on board only what you're allowed and give other people their own space.

15 Can't Stand: The Feet Up


This shouldn't even need to be said, but based on lots of traveler experiences, it still does unfortunately. The worst airline passengers put their feet up wherever they can—in the aisle, pressing the seat in front of them or even on the armrest. All ways are wrong.

The worst part is that they usually take their shoes off to do this, and sometimes even their socks too. Yeah, gross. Enough said. If you're seated next to someone who does this please speak up on behalf of everyone.

14 Can't Stand: The Constantly Getting Up


It's inevitable that fellow airline passengers will be scooting past you to go stretch their legs or go to the washroom.

But one of the drawbacks of the middle and aisle seats is that you constantly have to move about and shuffle around to accommodate when others need to get up to use the restroom. Some passengers seem to abuse this and get up constantly, which means you will probably be woken up lots and never get any rest.

13 Can't Stand: The Sick

via: Pinterest

A lot of people get sick when traveling, whether it's just experiencing new cuisines, or the jet lag just wreaks havoc on your body.

All the germs in airports and airplanes sure don't help either. Sitting next to a sick person is bad for all parties involved. You have to witness their sniffles and sneezes and just try your very best to avoid getting close to them—which is pretty hard to do when you're already in such close quarters with them.

12 Can't Stand: The Long Hair (We Do Care)

via: Today.com

"Long hair don't care," definitely does not apply to airplane travel, plain and simple. If you have exceptionally long hair, please tie up in a bun or confine it to your own seat at the very least.

Lots of photos have been circling over the Internet as of lately showing women's hair reaching over the seat behind them and therefore completely obstructing that person's view and invading their space. It's a big no-no so hopefully you don't have to deal with these passengers as your travel neighbors.

11 love: The Friendly People

via: Pinterest

Kindness sure does go a long way and when you're sitting next to someone who is cheerful and friendly right from the start—it makes the whole journey run more smoothly.

A little small talk at the beginning helps ease the awkwardness of being in such close quarters during those longer flights. You'll feel more comfortable asking them to move if you need to use the washroom or if just enjoy having someone to chat with a bit during your flight.

10 love: The Pleasing To The Eye

via: Pinterest

It's a romantic but not totally far-fetched way of meeting someone special. The best case scenario (if you're single and ready to mingle) is to sit next to someone who could be a potential love match.

This way you can make a little small talk and gauge if they're into you as well. The flirtation and rush of emotions will make your trip so much more fun and it may even be the beginning of an epic love story you can tell for years to come.

9 love: The Quiet

via: Daily Mail

Another great quality of the person you're sitting next to on a flight is someone who is just quiet. Maybe they just want to relax and watch a movie or read their book—that's the best case scenario.

It will give you the chance to either unwind too and catch up on some TV shows or be productive and get some work done you've been putting off without having too many distractions happening nearby.

8 love: The Space Respecter

via: Pinterest

Having fellow passengers show some respect for your space is a huge plus when traveling. We all get that there's limited space on board and we should do our best to make sure how we're sitting isn't negatively impacting our neighbors in any way, shape or form.

Passengers who are respectful of your space don't hog the armrests, push seats, kick seats or recline their seats as often as they may want to.

7 love: The Magazine Sharer

via: Hopper

Sharing is caring. Once a passenger is done reading a magazine they brought they could always offer it up for you to read especially if you seem a little bored and didn't bring any reading material along.

Or even if they have a book or travel guide of the place you're both traveling to—that works too. If they're done reading it or want to take a nap it's nice to be sitting next to someone who is friendly enough to share some of their belongings to help enhance your travel experience too.

6 love: The Doesn't Talk Too Much

via: Market Watch

They can be friendly and make a little small talk at first, but nobody wants to be seated next to someone who does not stop talking for the whole duration of the flight.

Some people enjoy chatting a bit but you want to make sure you're being respectful of other people around you too who may want more peace and quiet. Keep talking to a minimum and if you do talk, try to speak softer, especially if it's a nighttime flight.

5 love: The Celebrity

via: Johnny Jet

Well it may not be likely or realistic to see an A-list celebrity on your flight, it's not unheard of to see some stars up in the sky (and not that kind).

Lots of passengers have seen TV stars, musicians or even reality personalities while taking off. This makes for a great story and you may even get to interact with them a bit. Ideally, this would be one of the best passengers to sit beside.

4 love: The Good Hygiene

via: Bloomberg

As we already mentioned above, nobody wants to sit next to someone who doesn't smell good. It's extremely uncomfortable and unbearable to be stuck sitting next to someone who has B.O. The perfect airline passenger ideally would have good hygiene.

With that being said, they also shouldn't be wearing an overly strong perfume or overpowering cologne because that's also super annoying and not something you will want to deal with on your flight.

3 love: The Quiet Chewer

via: Pinterest

If you're on a longer flight, chances are you'll be eating some meals and/or snacks next to complete strangers. Nothing is more annoying than someone who chews loudly or has bad table manners (ie. chews with their mouth open).

Airline passengers need to remember they're not at home alone and when in a public space they should be extra polite and respectful to other passengers who are also trying to enjoy their meal.

2 love: The Nerve Calmer

via: Pinterest

Flight anxiety is extremely common and perfectly normal—don't you worry. While we wouldn't want other passengers to full-on console us (hello, stranger danger)—it is nice to be seated next to someone who picks up on the nerves and just makes light of it.

Sometimes just chatting to someone will help normalize the process and put you at ease, if even just a little bit. Fellow passengers who are understanding are always a huge plus when traveling. A little kindness goes a long way.

1 love: The Sound Sleeper

via: Travel Channel

The best kind of passenger we can dream of is the one who sleeps—a lot. But only if they don't snore and they stay on their side (and it doesn't block us from getting out of our seats).

We love this passenger because they make us feel like we're sitting alone (which for most of us would be the ultimate goal). We don't have to worry about any annoying habits or someone who constantly wants to make a conversation with us—we can just be. Peace, at last.

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