May 25, 2018
Who would you least like to sit next to on a crowded commercial flight? Travelers who lack good personal hygiene or who board with screaming children have emerged as the most-despised Passengers from Hell in the annual survey conducted by AirlineRatings.com and released on May 24.
Respondents were asked to rank passenger types from the most irritating to the least.
According to AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, the level of frustration about the smelly passenger reflects a decline in hygiene standards. “There has been a significant shift in passengers’ gripes about their fellow travelers, who are either not conscious of their odor or don’t care,” he says.
“With online or cell phone check-in now widespread, offending passengers are slipping through the traditional checks and only coming into contact with airline agents at the boarding gate,” Thomas notes, adding, “The agents, under pressure to get the flight away, let offenders slip through.”
Standards for appropriate wardrobe also have slipped in recent years. However, Thomas notes. “Some airlines, like Australia’s Qantas, now enforcing dress standards at least in the lounges.”
Out of control children are the second major gripe of airline passengers in the latest survey.
On runaway kids, Thomas said that “many parents think that the other 300 passengers on board are babysitters.”
Coming in third and fourth are passengers who recline their seats for a long time; as well as those who hogged the armrests.Indeed, according to the AirlineRatings.com website, “Passenger etiquette dictates that the passenger in the middle seat gets both armrests.”
The increasing amount of carry-on baggage was fifth on the list. Carry-on baggage has become a major problem, particularly in the United States, where many airlines charge for checked-in baggage. On most standard single-aisle aircraft there is not enough overhead baggage space to accommodate all the carry-on baggage.
The cramped conditions in economy catapulted the passenger with the weak bladder into the sixth position. In seventh were the chatterboxes who simply won’t shut up; and in eighth passengers, who exercised in the aisles.
In ninth position was the arrogant and demanding passenger who insists on being served before anyone else and is constantly annoying the flight attendants, who are usually run off their feet.
Finishing in tenth place was the window-hogger, who pulls at the window shade for the entire flight.
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