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The 14 most annoying things people do on a plane

A new study by Expedia reveals the top complaints fliers have about their fellow passengers.
/ Source: TODAY

We’ve all heard horror stories about unruly passengers on planes. Whether someone has a crying baby or is throwing a full-blown tantrum themselves, passenger behavior can make or break an in-flight experience. But what are the most annoying things people can do on planes?

Travel website Expedia just released the results of its airplane etiquette study, which identifies passenger behaviors that most infuriate fellow travelers.

“As we embark on 2017, millions and millions of people will be taking to the air this year, and should know that there’s no better gift you can give to a fellow traveler than respect and generosity,” said John Morrey, vice president and general manager at Expedia, in a statement. “The airplane etiquette study shows that small acts of decorum can go a long way. After all, as it relates to flights, we are quite literally all in this together.”

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Rear seat kicking was the No. 1 biggest complaint, according to Expedia.Alamy Stock

The study was conducted by GfK, an independent global market research company, which solicited feedback from 1,005 Americans age 18 and over. So what was the behavior that earned the most fury? Rear seat kicking. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed cited the “Rear Seat Kicker” as the most problematic passenger. Just behind that are “Inattentive Parents” (59 percent), defined as “parents who have no control over, or pay no attention to, their crying, whining or misbehaved children.”

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While people certainly don’t like being physically touched by other passengers or hearing their children, the No. 3 complaint is an assault on another sense: smell. “Aromatic” passengers — those with poor hygiene or those wearing excessive cologne or perfume — are the third least-liked (55 percent), followed by the “Audio Insensitive” (49 percent), the passenger who talks loudly or listens to music without consideration for fellow fliers.

Inattentive parents ranked high as a grievance for passengers.Shutterstock

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Rounding out the top five is “The Boozer,” a drunken, disruptive person, which is the biggest complaint for 49 percent of those surveyed. Interestingly, only 12 percent of Americans claim to consume more than two alcoholic drinks when flying, so this annoyance shouldn’t be as widespread as the other behaviors.

Other rarer complaints include those who undress (28 percent) and passengers who display an “inappropriate level of public affection” toward one another (28 percent). But, just under 3 percent of Americans report having “been physically intimate” with a fellow passenger aboard a plane.

Booze and planes don't mix.Alamy Stock

Though the list includes 14 major grievances, most people (79 percent) felt that “for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate of one another,” and 74 percent “thoroughly clean their space before leaving the plane.” In addition, 4 out of 10 fliers report having helped another passenger with luggage, while 28 percent have offered up their seat to another.

Here's the full list of etiquette violators:

1. The Rear Seat Kicker

2. Inattentive Parents

3. The Aromatic Passenger

4. The Audio Insensitive

5. The Boozer

6. Chatty Cathy

7. The Queue Jumper

8. Seat-Back Guy

9. The Armrest Hog

10. Pungent Foodies

11. The Undresser

12. The Amorous

13. The Mad Bladder

14. The Single and Ready to Mingle