The Top 11 Most Annoying Airline Passengers

The joys of flying are often exacerbated by these 11 knuckleheads.

1. The Chair Kicker

A gentle bump here and there, no big deal. Every 30 seconds? I’m about to flip out. Adjusting my seatback in a violent manner and rolling my eyes at you are completely ineffective. One of these days I’ll wait until your tray is full of liquids and electronics, when I will then crank my seat back and forth 40 times.

You’ll never kick another seat again. Mark my words.

2. The Climb Over You To Grab Their Bags In The Overhead

The race is on. Once it’s safe to unfasten our seat belts, let’s see who can grab their bags the fastest. Be sure you put your crotch in everyone’s face as you climb over them. And then stand uncomfortably in the aisle for 15 minutes waiting for an entire plane load of people in front of you to disembark.

3. The Non-Attentive Parent

Got a crying, whining kid who won’t shut up? No problem. Slip on those headphones and let every other adult around you suffer. Baby poo-poo their diaper? Don’t worry about it. Take a nap. Little runt putting their greasy, dirty hands all over everyone’s stuff? Oh well. Somebody has to entertain this child.

Hey, just a quick FYI: You’re the worst parent in the world.

4. The Me Me Me!

Ding. Flight attendant. Yes, I’m quite cold. Fetch me a blanket. Ding. Flight attendant. Yes, I’m awfully thirsty. Water, right away. Ding. Flight attendant. Yes, I would like a pillow. Ding. Flight attendant. More water please, and perhaps a little orange juice. Ding. Flight attendant. Any idea when we’ll land? Ding. Flight attendant. This pillow isn’t soft enough.

Ding. Annoying passenger. We hate you. Ding. A lot.

5. The Use Your Shoulder As A Pillow

Here’s a  tip: Purchase one of those U-shaped pillow things they sell in every airport gift shop around the world. This should keep your giant, drooling head in your own cramped space. If you emerge from your deep slumber covered in obscene Shapie decorations, don’t look at me. You earned it.

6. The Sickie

You look like you have the plague. Throw in a metal tube with closed air circulation, and you and your fellow passengers are sure to have a quality flight. So be sure not to cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing all over the place. Breathe really heavy in my general direction, too. I really appreciate that. Tissue?

7. The Stand Up To Stretch With Their Ass In Your Face

I prefer aisle seats, but immediately regret the decision the moment I realize I’m parked next to people who can’t sit still longer than 10 minutes. Better stretch those legs and stand with your ass 3 inches from my face. No, that’s not awkward at all.

8. The Talker

Easy to spot, difficult to avoid. They were in the terminal chatting with the wall when nobody else would listen. Alone time is a thing of the past should you unfortunately be seated next to this guy. Hey, where you from? What do you do? Oh, where you traveling? Very nice, I went there once with my family. My sister’s husband’s brother’s uncle worked near there once and blah blah blah blah.

Your life story. So interesting. Shoot me.

9. The Fart Machine

Sly as a smelly fox, The Fart Machine acts like he’s not dropping noxious fumes every few seconds. You know it’s him. He knows you know, too. But he’ll avoid eye contact at all costs. And keep on rippin’ em.

I am pointing my vent at you full blast for a reason, pal.

10. The Will Not Check Enormous Bags

Your carry-on is the size of a rhinoceros. But there is no chance in hell you’re checking it. So we’ll wait a half hour as you struggle to jam that thing into the overhead. Make sure everyone gets involved in your carry-on tribulation while you’re at. Still doesn’t fit? Rearrange the small, reasonable carry-ons. Maybe even drop a few bags on our heads. Spend the half hour apologizing profusely. Insincerely, of course.

See my small backpack there? Yeah, the one under the seat. Jackass.

11. The Stand In Line At The Restroom

The flight crew has already instructed you 20 times to please be seated until the restroom is available. Yet there you go again, hoping to secure your spot in line. Somehow you are always a window seat. Why does this happen?

How about you not drink 5 gallons of beer before boarding the plane next time? Just a thought.

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38 comments

      1. I’d ask for a different flight if I had more than 3 on the same plane. OK, maybe 5. But still.

  1. At my age now I find it is far better to pay for the upgrade to Premium, there are fewer of these clueless people.

  2. wow – what a rant – you pretty much nailed it though.. and I had to laugh.. I have heard 5 yo unaccompanied minors are quite obnoxious too.. per a flight attendant tellling me mine doesnt do well on planes but I have no say in the matter.. so I am sorry but glad you didnt call him out 😉
    Did you fly recently by any chance?

    1. Nah, I don’t call people out. I just suffer in silence with everyone else. Haven’t flown in a few months, and come to think of it, our last flight was quite pleasant. Surprising, considering we were headed to NYC!

      Hey, what’s new? Haven’t heard from you in a while. Still living the dream?

  3. LOL! I couldn’t agree more with this list. I’m a window gal myself. Once I’m in my seat, I mind my own business, put on my head phones, which hopefully say, “Do not try to converse with me,” and then lean toward the window. Basically, I’m the perfect person to sit next to. I’ll even ‘hold it’ until we land to avoid crawling over someone. If my aisle person gets up, then I may use that time to use the bathroom – but otherwise, I’m locked in. I have it down to a science. I even bring perfume spritzer incase Mr. or Mrs. gassy is in close proximity. If it’s really bad I keep a pashmina with me and wrap it around my face for extra protection. 😀
    One time I flew from London to Chicago with Mr. Gnarly sandal foot. It was unexpected, nothing I could have planned for. I actually thought I was gonna hurl a couple of times.

    1. A pashmina and perfume spritzer? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. If you can’t avoid ’em, at least be prepared. Next time we book a flight, we’ll have to call you up to reserve the window seat. I always get stuck with No. 11 climbing over me every half hour or so. Once or twice is fine, especially on a long flight. More than that, you’re asking for trouble.

      Yeah, Mr. Gnarly Sandal Foot. They’re out there, and it’s disgusting. I once had an old smelly lady pick her feet next to me on a bus. Like you, I almost hurled. What is wrong with people?

      1. It sure will. I have no idea how to defend The Gnarly Foot though. If you come up with anything, please let me know.

  4. I think you just had a bad flight. The first is my pet peeve along with not putting your seat up when it is feeding time. Carry on rules are a joke. If it doesn’t fit check it. Better yet, enforce it. One you missed was garlic lovers. Don’t have garlic before a flight. Hours of hell for anyone within five rows of you.

    1. I’ve had my share of bad flights, you’re right. I suppose we all have at one time or another. Fortunately I’ve yet to experience The Garlic Man. Although there’s been a few onion dishes in questionable containers.

      1. Had that experience a few years ago. Sat right behind this couple and it was so bad I had a headache. Everyone in the area showed a lot of discontentment. Even the attendants were making faces as they walked by in empathy for us all. Horrible experience for a two hour flight.

  5. Ah, the joys of travel! You’ve definitely hit some of the most annoying aspects of getting from Point A to Point B in the so-called civilized world.

    On #9 – The Fart Machine, in addition to John Phillips’ mention of Sir Garlic, let’s not forget Mr or Ms ‘I’m wearing enough cologne/perfume to anesthetize an entire small island nation’. If the gag-inducing stank of your ‘fragrance’ takes weeks to wash out of my clothing, perhaps you’re wearing a tad too much…

    On #3 – Non-attentive Parents, please know that when we say your children are only cute to you, we are not trying to be clever and witty. We sincerely mean it, and if that child kicks my seat one more time someone is going to get their feelings hurt. (This said, I’ve encountered some perfectly delightful children when flying who’ve made the fight enjoyable. These are the children of parents who remember that wonderful time in their lives when they did not have children.)

    On #8 – The Talker, this person is made even more annoying when he insists, over and over, that we meet up for drinks at his hotel. Insisting after I’ve declined once, politely, ensures that, once again, someone is about to get his feelings hurt…big time.

    Great post Eric!

    1. Something tells me you’ve had your share of run-ins with these folks. The Excessive Cologne Man is really bad. A spritz here and there to cover up your stank, fine. But half a bottle? Before a flight? Why?

      And I too have been seated next to polite children. I almost want to ask their parents if we can make a PSA. Hey, idiot parents of the world, listen up. See these kids? Notice how they are behaving well and entertaining themselves with crayons and whatnot? Take notes.

      Your No. 8 sounds like a The Stalker Talker. I hate The Stalker Talker. Glad you let him down in the meanest way possible. Get a clue Stalker Talker. I’ve seen guys trying to pull that move on solo female passengers far too often. It’s just downright creepy.

      1. I once sat with a 7 year old who was flying-solo from Dallas to Mexico City. The kid was amazing, she’d seen more of the world then I could ever hope to, and was giving me tips on things to do in Mexico. I almost hated to say goodby when landing… as she was continuing on to Paraguay!!

        Stalker Talker! Too funny, I like that! 😀

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