Travelling in economy can be a challenge at best of times. On a recent survey, Australian travellers were asked a simple question – what annoys you most when flying? And the answers may, or may not, surprise you.
Over half of those surveyed (55%) say that having their seat kicked from behind is the most annoying part of travel. And the annoyances didn’t stop there.
Research by finder.com.au has revealed the 12 most annoying parts of travel today, with bad body odour coming in a close second at 54%.
Rounding out the top three in-flight hates is crying babies, with 38% of respondents finding loud or misbehaved kids annoying – especially if they kick the back of your seat.
Angus Kidman, editor-in-chief at finder.com.au, understand Aussies’ flying frustrations.
“These issues aren’t easily ignored. If you constantly have someone kicking the back of your seat, it can become incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re trying to sleep.”
“It’s almost surprising to see noisy kids at number three. You’d think it might come in a little higher with all the talk of kid-free zones on planes.”
Reclining during meal times, and people that cough and sneeze without their hands covering their mouth round out the top five.
“Flying is rarely the favourite part of anyone’s holiday, but being respectful and treating others well makes it better for everyone.”
Here are five flying rules that Angus and team recommend when travelling.
5 airline etiquette rules everyone should follow
1. Don’t recline on short flights
Just because your seat has the ability to recline, doesn’t mean it always has to, especially if it’s only a short trip, say between Sydney and Brisbane.
That’s not to say that you should never recline, just be respectful and understand there are times that are a definite no-go for reclining, such as during food service. If you do choose to tilt your seat back, make sure you do it slowly and carefully, that way the person sitting behind you doesn’t end up with their glass of red all over them.
2. Don’t overdo the booze
Be mindful and don’t get too drunk. A few wines to calm the flying nerves is ok, but you don’t want to end up going viral by getting filmed being a belligerent drunk towards the flight attendant. The less you drink, the less you’ll need to get up and interrupt your fellow passengers by going to the bathroom too.
3. Read the signs
Some passengers might be super chatty, while others prefer to keep to themselves, to try to read the signs. If they keep going to put their headphones on, it’s probably time to stop asking them questions. Not only should you keep your conversation to yourself, you should also keep your elbows to yourself too! Don’t manspread and take up more of the already limited space each passenger has.
4. Avoid smelly food
This might go without saying, but skip bringing your egg sandwich or leftover curry as a snack. The smell will linger and you won’t make any friends. If you do want to bring a snack, think of more odourless foods such as rice crackers, apples or chips.
5. Keep the kids entertained
Try to be respectful and keep your kids’ volume down. Download some movies using Netflix offline viewing on your phone or iPad to keep them entertained and quiet during the duration of the flight. Not only will this make the flight easier for you, but your fellow passengers too!
A couple of other in-flight courtesies:
- Don’t hog the armrest – the general rule is the person in the middle seat has the armrest
- Don’t talk on your phone, even if you have Wi-Fi access
- If you are having a conversation, keep the noise level low
- Be mindful of your bags when boarding to avoid swatting people in their face
- Leave some overhead bin space for other people’s bags
- Keep bathrooms as clean as you can (although they can be nasty, so try to wait if possible)
- Think about how you to choose to sleep and remember not to be in other’s personal space
- Everyone is eager to get off the aircraft; don’t crowd the plane aisles and leave room for people to move.
Do you have any other travel tips to share?