Traveling is an inevitable part of life for most of us, and using public transport is just as much of a necessity. Whether we need to get to work, see friends and relatives or whether we are going on a vacation, we have to come into contact with our fellow man in close quarters on either the bus, train or plane.
This is all well and good if every traveler is considerate. However, there are unfortunately plenty of people who seem to be completely oblivious to the needs of their fellow passengers. Whether they are playing loud music, munching on a takeaway or coughing all over the place, they seem to have been put in our path simply to ruin our day.
When travel companies take surveys of the things that annoy passengers the most, kicking seats often comes out on top. Add to that loud music and smelly snacks a few uncovered sneezes as well. These are all behaviors that people partake in without considering their fellow travelers.
Many frequent travelers put up with this on a daily basis but feel unable to prevent it. It can be extremely uncomfortable to confront someone’s antisocial behavior, so most of us put up with it and suffer.
20 Coughing or Sneezing Without Covering Their Mouth
A sniffling or sneezing fellow passenger is unpleasant and potentially invites their germs to settle on the passenger next door. This is especially annoying if the sick traveler fails to cover their mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.
Research has found that if someone sneezes without covering their mouth in a plane, the particles travel to the whole cabin, according to Fox News. Germs can travel up to 50 feet from the source. Obviously, the air inside a plane cabin is recycled, but not on a bus or train, so unless a suitable air conditioning system is in place that eradicates germs, everyone around the sick person risks getting infected.
19 Not Taking More Care of Personal Hygiene
Spending time next to a smelly fellow passenger is a really unpleasant experience. Surveys reveal that it comes high on the list of passenger complaints according to Newsweek.
Being stuck on a plane next to someone who smells can make a journey unbearable, and similarly, a fellow passenger with underarm odor is a nightmare on a crowded train or subway.
Not only does it make a journey unpleasant, it doesn’t make eating an in-flight meal very appealing when the person next to you has a pungent aroma. Bad breath and smelly feet are also culprits that cause distress to fellow passengers.
18 Talking Loudly on Mobile Phones
Use of mobile phones in public has become commonplace, but sometimes we really don’t need to hear about last night’s date or next week’s shopping list quite so loudly.
Being on a train or bus with someone who is telling the world their business via their phone can be extremely irritating, especially if it is loud and impossible to ignore. Luckily, most planes don’t allow cell phones to be used, but what looked like being a peaceful journey can be turned into a noisy insight into a fellow passenger's life instead. Most people are too polite to interrupt and ask the caller to keep it down and put up with it rather than risk a confrontation.
17 Putting Their Feet on The Seats
Apart from the obvious hygiene issues of having to sit on a seat where someone else has put their feet, many passengers find the practice very odd but are reluctant to confront them and ask them to move.
This reduces the comfort of a journey for passengers and prevents them from sitting where they want to, according to Metro. It is regarded as anti-social behavior and some train companies are putting cameras on trains to try and avoid the practice from becoming acceptable. Staff will confront passengers who flout the rule about putting feet on seats in the hope that selfish passengers will have more consideration for others.
16 Eating Smelly Food
In increasingly busy lives, a trip on a bus or train can be a vital space for free time in which to have a snack or even a meal for many passengers. We have become accustomed to snacking on trains and gobbling a sandwich on a bus and are grateful to parents who quiet their children with a bag of chips or some fruit.
However, some people decide that a three-course meal is acceptable on a subway train or think that eating smelly curry or a large bag of fried food in full view and the smell of fellow passengers is okay. While it is everyone’s business what they eat, we should all be considerate of the delicate noses of our fellow travelers.
15 Taking Up Space on Seats With Bags
We all love to have extra room on a train or bus. It is lovely to have that personal space and have a free seat next to or opposite where we are sitting. However, when space is limited and there is a busy carriage, it is extremely inconsiderate to put bags on seats that prevent people from sitting.
Some cunning passengers will take up extra seats, then immerse themselves in headphones or feigned sleep, preventing travelers from asking if they could remove the offending objects. Everyone has a right to a seat if it’s available and people should be considerate enough to allow this to happen.
14 3. Getting A Bit Too Raucous
Dread fills the heart of every traveler when they realize that they are in a carriage or cabin with a bachelor party or bunch of overexcited young women who are intent on drinking as much as they can and enjoying themselves very loudly.
Not only can these groups be a bit intimidating and offensive, but they can get raucous and occasionally violent and argumentative. If it isn’t possible to move to a quieter compartment, the best policy is to try and ignore them and keep out of their way. They will probably get off at the next stop and if on a plane, staff will not tolerate unacceptable behavior and it will soon be nipped in the bud.
13 2. Getting Up for the Bathroom
An aisle seat is brilliant in terms of having an armrest to ourselves, having a bit of room to stretch the legs and having easy access to the exit. However, this perk comes with some downsides. The person next to us is bound to need to go to the bathroom at some point during the journey.
This realization means that we feel awkward about going to sleep in case we prevent the other traveler from getting out, or in case they clamber over us and wake us up while straddling the seat! It’s fair enough if someone gets up once, but multiple times is a bit much – it might be worth suggesting they swap seats if it gets too regular!
12 1. Falling Asleep and Snoring
Long journeys can be a perfect opportunity to catch up on some sleep. Not only that but for some reason, the constant sitting down proves incredibly tiring and we often fall asleep on trains, planes, and buses. This is all fine but becomes a bit more troublesome when the person who falls asleep either leans awkwardly on the traveler next to them or even worse, snores.
Snoring is a treatable condition, and the best advice for long journeys is to keep hydrated and use snoring strips on the nose or other anti-snoring devices. Having a C-shaped pillow to rest on does help.
11 8. Hogging the Armrest
That lovely feeling of sitting back in a comfy seat and shutting our eyes is made all the more pleasurable by having two armrests to use. However, when sharing an armrest with a passenger next door, there can develop a war of attrition as to who is eligible to use the coveted item.
One plane passenger got so irate with the armrest war that he started a website in condemnation of the practice and received 800,000 posts, according to The Express. The passenger filmed his co-traveler hogging the armrest and plotted revenge by shoving his arm off the rest when he was asleep. This woke the ‘hogger’ and confounded his selfishness as the other passenger pretended to be asleep and not notice what was going on.
10 7. Reclining the Seat
There is very little space on an airplane these days. When someone in front of you decides to recline their seat, it means there is even less space, especially when the tray table is down. This is equally a problem on a long-distance bus where space is at a premium, and long legs have even less space.
Opinion is divided on how to resolve this issue. Some passengers feel the recline function should be removed from seats to make the person behind more comfortable. Others think that it’s polite to ask the person behind if they mind, and then recline away.
9 6. Screaming Babies
Every plane, train or bus seems to come with its own resident baby that is inconsolable. Sod’s law determines that at least one is present on every trip and the parent seems unable to quiet it.
When you are the parent of the baby it is extremely worrying and frustrating, but we seem to forget all that when are confronted with the noisy baby that threatens to throw up at any moment. Plane journeys are hard for babies, especially with the changes in pressure and moms are recommended to give them something to suck on as the plane takes off and lands. It is worth trying to find some compassion for the parent and sticking on some earphones and being thankful we don’t have the baby in our care.
8 5. Being Overly Affectionate
When couples are in love and embarking on a special holiday, they seem oblivious to everyone around them and so wrapped up in each other that they don’t seem to notice if their behavior is a little over the top.
Sitting next to a couple like this can be embarrassing and a bit irritating. It’s one thing to have a couple cuddling and nestling up to each other but once they start to get a bit more amorous than is necessary, it is uncomfortable to sit so close to such public displays of affection. Couples should keep their extreme expressions of love until they are on their own.
7 4. Chatting to Strangers
We have all been there. The last seat on the coach or the designated seat on the plane, and who sits there? The chatty stranger. They love to strike up a conversation, oblivious to the fact that we might want some peace and quiet and feel a bit awkward getting out that much-loved book or much-needed snack.
They love to regale us with information about their grandchildren, operations or who they are visiting when they arrive at their destination. We endure the conversation and nod politely, desperate for them to leave us in peace for five minutes. Travelers beware, polite greetings are fine, but take the hint if the other person doesn’t seem so keen to chat!
6 14. Loud Music Coming Through Headphones
Nothing helps a long journey go faster than listening to our favorite music on public transport. However, loud music not only damages our ears, but penetrates the ears of those around, and the music may not be as welcome to them as it is to the primary listener.
It is always worth remembering that headphones don’t always provide enough muffling of music to avoid others from hearing what is being played, and keeping the volume manageable so that at worst, a light hum is heard rather than a replication of a live show. Expect some fierce stares if this code isn’t adhered to!
5 13. Taking Off Socks
Hot weather and stuffy cabins or buses do not mix well. If there is no air conditioning, it can get unpleasantly warm and stuffy in planes or on trains or buses. However, if feet are going to be exposed in public, it is essential to check that they are smelling lovely and clean.
In a hot environment we all perspire but exposing sweaty feet to the world and therefore forcing fellow passengers to ‘enjoy’ the aroma of smelly feet is unacceptable and very tricky to negotiate for fellow passengers. Stay safe and keep thin socks on or invest in some foot spray to cool and freshen feet and keep them smelling sweet.
4 12. Kicking the Seat
In surveys of passengers, kicking the seat was the most offensive action that another passenger can take, and causes more complaints and anger than anything else, according to Statista. On planes there is very little room in modern cabins, so the space for the person behind is limited. The odd kick or bump is unavoidable but constant kicking is incredibly annoying.
Children are often the culprits of this irritating habit. Their legs seem to be just the right length to reach the seat in front and they seem to find great joy in maximizing that advantage! It’s not just planes that provide this opportunity, cars are a minefield for seat kicking too, which isn’t just annoying but dangerous for the driver.
3 11. Not Keeping Children Under Control
Time on public transport can be a source of peace and relaxation, an enforced break in our hectic lives. However, this tranquillity can soon be ruined by shouting or arguing children or kids running up and down buses, jumping around and falling over.
One of the most frustrating things about this behavior is that parents are often present and seem to do nothing to keep their children under control. The children are annoying, but most passengers feel it is up to the parents to jump in and sort them out. Confronting them can be very intimidating, so few people do it, however much they may want to.
2 10. Line Jumping
Everyone hates lining up and waiting, especially when we are running late and the line seems to be taking too long. Most of us have our own cunning methods for line jumping and many people are master manipulators at this.
However, if you are at the back of a line and spot someone jumping in ahead of you, it can raise levels of anger that are disproportionate to what is actually going on and arguments and fights can break out.
It’s really bad form to line jump, we should all try and get where we need to be on time, but seasoned line jumpers claim that they act nonchalantly and usually get away with it!
1 9. Loud Complaining
There are many issues that bother passengers from late departures to not being allowed to take heavy luggage on board and having to wait for service. They seem to think that the louder they shout the more action will occur when often the opposite is true.
Many passengers feel the need to get things off their chest loudly and in a way that makes other passengers have to wait even longer. Often things that they are complaining about, such as weather conditions are completely out of their control and they allow their anger to take over and put staff and passengers through unnecessary grief.