Once upon a time, taking an airplane trip was a marvelous event for which people actually put on nice clothes. Now, it’s something to be endured — like a root canal or parent-teacher night.
Unless you pay big bucks for business or first class, a lot of the amenities have been taken away, such as free bad food and readily available blankets. Instead, you pay for WiFi and pay for food and pay for extra baggage and pay for flimsy, cheap headphones, all for the privilege of being crammed into an undersized seat with way too many of your fellow humans.
For that matter, even if you do shell out for the deluxe cabin seating, you’re still dealing with other passengers. And according to a late-2014 Expedia survey, they can be the least pleasant thing about an otherwise barely bearable experience.
More than 67 percent of study respondents tabbed the “Rear Seat Kicker” as the worst offender—meaning two out of every three passengers rates these people as worst. “Inattentive parents” came in at 64 percent, followed by the “Aromatic passenger” at 56 percent, the “Audio Insensitive” at 51 percent, and the “Boozer” at 50 percent.
(Interestingly, while one out of every two passengers rated “The Boozer” as worst, only 12 percent of Americans report that they drink more than two alcoholic beverages during air travel, while on board or in the airport. That means the ones who drink a lot are particularly offensive.)
Coming in at No. 6 on the list: the “Chatty Cathy,” or the passenger who won’t shut up. Roughly 78 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “A little small talk is fine, but I prefer to keep to myself during the flight.” While 16 percent of Americans said they “use flights as an opportunity to talk to and meet new people,” 65 percent said they “dread” the experience of sitting next to someone else.
Earlier this year, ABC latenight host Jimmy Kimmel decided to do a dramatized version of the list, featuring celebrated British actor — and Starfleet Capt. Jean-Luc Picard — Sir Patrick Stewart.
Make it so: