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I became fascinated with air travel at an early age, when I discovered I could leave freezing cold, dreary Connecticut behind in January, and two hours later, be in hot and sunny Florida. I think we’re all pretty fortunate to be living in this modern age, where we have the ability to jump on a plane and escape unattractive weather conditions. We can travel halfway around the world for relatively little money and in reasonable comfort. However, the more I travel, the more it seems that passengers are becoming increasingly selfish or oblivious to their actions on planes and how they impact the people around them. RELATED: The One Thing Some Women Do on Airplanes That Drives Me Nuts … And I Can’t Believe It’s Not Illegal

By being more considerate passengers, we can all make travel that much more enjoyable for everyone. Below are 10 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad airplane habits that I commonly see, along with my thoughts on how to be a better passenger:
10 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad airplane habits1. Talking loudly on your phone or to seatmates
It astounds me when I hear people speaking so loudly on their phone or to a seatmate that I can hear them five rows back. It’s rude and careless—especially if it’s about sensitive business. You have no idea who’s listening and in this day and age of social media, you have to assume everyone is indeed listening. So speak softly no matter whether it’s a sensitive subject or not. Rest assured: Your loud voice is annoying everyone around you.

Smelly pax2. Not taking care of your personal hygiene
As a common courtesy, you should at least walk onto the plane clean and not reeking of BO. One of my worst flights involved a couple that smelled so bad, the passengers in the two rows around them literally had to plug their noses for the flight. Later, the flight attendants actually encouraged the offended passengers to write to Delta to complain and get a gift certificate. A close second in terms of hygiene-related offenses is when you see people clipping their nails, tweezing their eyebrows or putting nail polish on. It’s just rude and inconsiderate to put on nail polish on an airplane. Plus, it’s highly flammable (I wrote more on that topic here). If you ever see someone putting it on, either tell them to stop or ring the call button and ask the flight attendant if they smell nail polish. And don’t get me started on the person across the aisle who I saw flossing his teeth.

Food on plane3. Bringing smelly food onboard
A McDonald’s cheeseburger may smell pretty good when it’s right out of the kitchen, but it doesn’t smell the same way once you’re airborne. The worst is tuna fish. Think twice about what kind of food you bring on your flight and be considerate of the people around you.

Socks on a plane4. Taking your socks off
I can understand passengers wanting to take their shoes off after takeoff (don’t do it before, as it’s a safety hazard) but if you do, make sure your feet don’t smell. And regardless of whether they smell or not, don’t take your socks off so everyone can see your toes. This isn’t your living room. And bad airplane habits aside: Don’t ever walk into a lavatory with bare feet or socks that you plan on wearing again. An airplane bathroom floor is a breeding ground for germs and is just plain disgusting.

Virgin-America-YYZ-SFO-LAX-July-2010-125. Playing music or videos too loud
You’d think that people would know that’s it’s not okay to play music or videos without earbuds/headphones on. But sadly, many don’t. The only thing worse is when passengers have earbuds/headphones on but they’re playing their music/video so loud that others can hear the noise. Not only is it bad for your ears, but it’s also rude. TIP: Bring earplugs and earbuds for yourself so you can put them on if a noisy seatmate won’t turn their volume down.

Mask6. Sneezing/coughing without covering your mouth
My name is Johnny Jet and I’m a germaphobe. There. I said it. And I hate when passengers are coughing and/or sneezing without covering their mouths. Surely the pandemic has taught us not to do this, not when you’re outside in the fresh air, let alone in a metal tube, 30,000 feet in the air—especially with so many viruses out there, from colds and flus to Covid and RSV. I carry two masks when I fly: one for me and one to give to a rude or sick passenger who might need it.

Flight Crew7. Being rude or impatient with flight attendants and crew
I used to date a flight attendant so I know how difficult their jobs are … and this was before all the cutbacks. There’s no excuse as a passenger to be rude to a flight attendant unless the flight attendant is being rude to you. It’s not their problem that you didn’t notice that you don’t have seats together or that the entertainment system is down—although if you’re nice, they’ll do their best to help you. They’re just doing their job, and it’s not an easy one. I almost always bring flight attendants chocolates and greet them with a big smile. If there’s a problem  during the flight, I know they’ll take good care of me—with or without the tokens of appreciation. Their job is to help and most will do it with a smile if you’re friendly.

Loud pax8. Pushing, pulling or kicking other people’s seats
Unless you’re really old or handicapped, there’s no reason to push, pull or kick people’s seats when you’re getting up or walking down the aisles. Somehow, this happens all the time because people aren’t being considerate of those around them. Don’t be that person.

Kids on a Plane9. Ignoring your out-of-control kids
Usually, I find that kids are well-behaved and it’s the parents who aren’t. But once in a while you’ll see that out-of-control kid just running up and down the aisle screaming or playing their video games without headphones and the parents couldn’t care less. We all know that wrangling kids can be a challenge, but as a parent, just do your best to control the situation. That’s all anyone can ask. Ignoring it is what will irk everyone around you.

Service Animal10. Pretending your dog is a service animal
I’ve been seeing an increase in travelers with dogs recently, and most of them have their companions wearing service dog harness vests. Unfortunately, I think many of these dogs aren’t really service dogs, as I know a number of people who say they’ve bought these vests so their animals fly for free, which is really pathetic in my opinion. I’m sure the industry is going to crack down on this sooner or later, which is only going to make it more difficult for those who really need a service dog and that’s a real shame.

What bad airplane habits irk you most?

I can think of many more bad airplane habits but first, I’d like to hear what you think should be on this list. Leave a comment and share your thoughts!


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148 Comments On "10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Airplane Habits"
  1. BAB|

    Wearing flip-flops on planes and airports; nobody wants to see or be near your germy feet!

    1. Johnny Jet|


      1. terry|

        I disagree I wear sandals and don’t own socks for many decades. My feet are clean and if you don’t wear shoes they don’t smell

  2. Steve Rosen|

    I hate when people “slam” their seats to the fully reclined position without the consideration
    of at least looking to the person behind them and then doing it gently. It’s tight enough in the
    seat without getting a seat back in your face at a high rate of speed. I also look and move it
    gently and usually not all of the way if the person is eating or using the tray.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good one!

      1. terry|

        I wish the seats other than first class didn’t recline at all, leg room is all I want.

      2. MarineVetDRC|

        I do have a question about reclining seats. I have a terribly bad back. In fact, I have had 5 surgeries and a pain pump implanted. It is near impossible for me to sit with the seats in the completely upright position for any length of time. I can get by with reclining the seat one “click.” So not very far. Is it more appropriate to ask the person behind if they mind or just push it back gently that one click. I’m afraid if I ask, someone will say they do mind and then I’m stuck. Any advice??

        1. Johnny Jet|

          I wouldn’t push it. I would just try and book the bulkhead or the exit row if you can operate the door.

    2. Anonymous|

      I wish airlines would do away with reclining seats, period. We have little room as it is!

      One who always flies coach

      1. Kathy|

        Totally agree!

  3. Tony|

    Manhandling or even MOVING my luggage in the overhead without asking me.

    Abusing tyhe overhead when you don’t want to check a bag. I hate that. Check your bag.

    1. Johnny Jet|


    2. Andrea|

      Actually, if you are so sensitive about your bag being touched, why don’t YOU check your bag?

      1. Chris|

        Not all belongings can or should be checked. It’s one thing to have your bag pushed aside to make room for another bag to fit but I’ve actually had my bag moved to a different compartment than where I put it to make room for some rude person to fit BOTH of his bags in one compartment. He could have easily put his second bag into the one he moved my bag to but he didn’t. He moved mine, which to me is extremely rude. Especially as he didn’t even ask if I minded. Touching another passengers belongings is rude and inappropriate.

      2. Susie|

        We carry a medical CPAP and don’t check it, because if it gets lost our trip is ruined. We check all other bags, so we don’t take too much overhead room, but low and behold the guy with 3 large bags takes it out and slams it around making space for his haul…

    3. Jane|

      Putting both your suitcase, your purse or brief case and your jacket in the overhead. One item over your seat. Everything else under the seat. Doesn’t fit? Well then you know you brought too much. (And don’t put your stuff in row 7 as you proceed to row 27).

    4. Judy|

      Plus it’s dangerous when they all jump up before the plane has even come to a complete stop and start pulling their heavy cases down and hitting people in the process. Takes twice as long for everyone to get off the plane.

  4. Robin|

    Hey Johnny,

    Regarding the loud phone talking;

    I was on a plane waiting for take off, and the guy across from me had a conversation on speaker phone!! Not only was the caller’s voice loud, but he had the phone on his knee and felt he had to talk very loudly so his words would reach the phone. Brilliant!!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      That’s crazt!

    2. MR. A. B. JAMES|

      no matter where i am if someone violates my space i join in the conversation

      1. MarineVetDRC|

        Bwaaahhhaaas. That’s awesome.

  5. Matthew|

    I have come to the conclusion that there is some sort of unwritten rule that every flight must have at least one sleeveless shirt guy on it…..usually that person is assigned to sit next to me! For a while I was posting my “sleeveless guys on a plane” pics on my facebook page and encouraging others to do the same and was amazed at how many men out there have no qualms about exposing their armpits to the rest of the people on the plane……even if they don’t smell at all….it is still disgusting!

  6. Larry in YVR|

    Love the folks in the window seat who won’t lower the blinds on a day flight so others can see their video screens more clearly. Inevitably the offender goes to sleep anyway! And ditto on the seat-back slammers! C’mon folks, check with the person behind you!!

    1. Patrick|

      Sorry, but I sit in the window seat to look out the window–it’s one of the few joys left in flying. Plus daylight is far more pleasant than cabin lighting. We can watch screens anytime, but seeing the earth from 30,000 feet is very special.

      Still, I understand your complaint, and if I’m falling asleep I do try to remember to close the shade before dozing off if anyone in my 1/2 row is using a screen.

      1. Johnny Jet|

        I’m with you. Just today everyone wanted the window shades shut but I left mine 1/4 open so I could see out

        1. Kim|

          Completely agree w/ Johnny Jet on this one. I book the window seat specifically so I can enjoy the view, and don’t appreciate closing the shade so the person across the aisle can watch 10 minutes of a sitcom rerun, then fall asleep, while I’m doomed to stare at the closed windowshade I’ve been shamed in to closing.

      2. Eileen|

        I’m with you, Patrick.

  7. christine|

    Well here is about 70 year old me just flying solo one time, and I sat next to an expensively dressed gentleman, hometown Paris. He spent a good part of the flight,I am talking hours here, with his finger up his nose like he was attempting to grab his eyeballs from the inside. I kept my face adverted except when it was time to tell the nice lady not to bring me any lunch thanks just some bottled water please. The good that came out of it is i never forget that he was sticking that mess someplace and am guessing it was the seat or the tray. that revolting image that i have not yet been able to burn out of my brain, reminds me to be careful and yet the day after a lovely first class flight home this week from Scotland, both my careful husband and myself got sick. must have bumped into some silent deadly squishy something..

    1. Johnny Jet|

      The nose picker is a good one!

    2. Elaine Gee|

      Almost feel out of my seat laughing at that one ! Now my stomach is a bit quezzy ?✈️

    3. Chris|

      Imagine the poor unsuspecting people he shakes hands with ?! That’s why the best way to prevent illness is by washing your hands frequently; especially before eating, before touching your face, after using the restroom.

  8. Daniel, London|

    I was on a night flight in the States a few years ago, and as soon as the flight went into cruise mode, with lights dimmed, a couple two rows in front began changing their baby’s diaper right there on the seat between them. You can imagine the rest! We were all just appalled that people could be so absolutely oblivious to the effect on everyone else on the flight!

    1. Scott|

      Well try the to change it in the child friendly lav. What a joke. Not enough room to turn around. Tried to tell my 2 year old to go before we boarded, she didn’t listen either. So where should I Change the child in the Galley?

  9. Carol|

    I hate it when in economy the passenger in front of me reclines so far back I can hardly move. I feel like offering to give them a wash and set!

    1. Sara|

      This is something that should be taken up with the airlines NOT the passenger in front of you. Everyone is given the exact same amount of real estate. When someone in front of me reclines, I also recline. If you want more space, fly premium economy or business or better yet, we should all be complaining to the airlines about the seats getting smaller and closer together!

  10. Andrea|

    I get a little frustrated with people when they are boarding and, instead of taking care of business (placing bag in overheard after finding one’s seat), they linger in the aisle so that no other passengers can get past them to find their own seats!

    1. JHF|

      Why don’t airlines that use assigned seating board from the rear of the plane forward? I’d think even the first-class passengers would enjoy less hassle. It’s not like they’re being served drinks during the boarding process!

      1. Chris|


      2. Helen|

        In Europe, after business and assisted boarding, planes are loaded from the back. I am currently travelling across America and I noticed that American-based airlines board from the front rows back. We commented on it just yesterday. Very strange process.

    2. Judy|

      Alaska Airlines always boards from back of the plane second, after first class boards first.

  11. Dennis|

    My Wife and I were on a across the country flight and heard a cat meowing! Kathy is very allergic to cats and was concerned about having a bad reaction on a 5 hr flight. She spoke to the Flight Attendant and she had that “cat person” change seats with someone several seats away. Folks should be more considerate!

    1. Laurel|

      you should have your wife tell the airline at the time of booking or at least when you get to the gate that she is allergic to cats (along with any other allergy that you can have a reaction to from the air). The airline will normally be accommodating and in some cases may not allow someone with a cat to book that flight.

      Just a note- cat allergies are from the dander in the cats fur (along with saliva). It can stay on soft surfaces so even if you just come in contact with someone who owns a cat you can have an allergic reaction (like sitting next to them on the plane and they are wearing a sweater that the cat curled up in). I am not trying to make light of your wives allergy but if you are that allergic to cats (or anything) you should always bring allergy medicine on any flight (or any time she could be in a small space with someone who owns a cat).

      1. Giovanna|

        It’s not just cats that can cause allergic reactions. I am highly allergic to dog hair, and I can’t tell you how frustrated I am when I enter a plane and all these “service animals” are sitting in their owners’ laps. The worse is when they get their dogs into the cabin by claiming they are “emotional support” animals. Even in first class, where they can darn well pay for their dog to travel with them.

        I always pay when I needed to transport my cat. Or maybe I should say that my kitty supports me emotionally on a trip to get her transported for free. What nonsense!

        My goodness, what has the world come to? I respect all animals and would never harm them (I’m even a vegetarian), but this is over the top where I am concerned.

        The attribution of human traits to animals is called Anthropomorphism, if anyone is interested. The airlines really need to stop this “emotional support” nonsense. I can’t believe they don’t care about giving us poor coach passengers enough leg room to survive a long trip, but they give in to the whims of passengers with “emotional” needs. How about my “emotional need” to be able to stretch my legs during a long flight???? Geez….

    2. imawaffle|

      How dare she. Your wife’s allergies could have severely affected the psychological balance of a snowflake! Service animals are people too. #snarky

    3. Judy|

      I, too, am very allergic to cats and dogs. More than once I have sniffled and sneezed across the country because of the animals in the cabin. I’ll gladly put up with the inconvenience when it’s a service dog, but most times that’s not the case. I am expecting that one day I’ll have a severe asthma attack and the plane will have to make an emergency landing to get me to the hospital so I can breathe again…

    4. Kim|

      I think you nailed the issue – “being considerate” I find is a concept that has just gone away in general. If people would just remember their actions affect everyone, not just themselves, traveling would be so much better for all of us.

  12. Patrick|

    I agree with all these, with the exception of being offended by seeing other people’s feet. Yes, if they’re smelly that’s bad, but just visible? Don’t you see lots of feet in your travels anyway? Are people traveling in the tropics supposed to dress too warmly just to avoid offending your Victorian sensibilities?

    I do btw wear closed shoes when flying because I know there’s all you uptight folks out there who are offended by something as innocuous as a human foot, plus I do think closed shoes would be better if an evacuation is necessary. I am however still offended by your insistence that others adhere to your silly dress code.

    Am I ever bothered by someone else’s choice of clothing? Sure, I have opinions. But that’s life. Visual offenses are easy to ignore.

    1. Helen|

      I’ve never heard anything as silly as not to wear open-toed shoes / flipflops onto a plane!

  13. Nick|

    In the quiet overnight solitude of the a 747 upper deck the man in front who felt the best way to protect his kids ears was to let him play a computer game on his iPad via the speakers. After enduring “Ping” “Whizz” “EEEEEEEEK” “Screeeeeetch” “Bong” a quite request to the cabin crew brought a semi indignant shrug and silence.

    And the good news is that little Timmy will never know about his “Near Death Experience”!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I would tell the flight attendant

  14. Jack|

    My “service dog” stays under the seat and makes no noise. Yet there’s countless of children who are much worse. Until the standards change that unruly children can be put in the cargo hold in cages and I have the right to purchase a seat that would be used by my dog, point 10 will likely continue.

    1. Patrick|

      Until your dog can contribute to your Social Security and the economy as a whole for 40+ years when it grows up, I will continue to consider your dog as distinctly different than children.

  15. Laurel|

    I agree that people shouldn’t be pretending their dogs are service animals but the airlines should not be charging over $100 each way for a dog that becomes your only carry on, has to be under the seat in front of you and normally is less irritating then most babies (yes I know for babies it is their ears and there isn’t much that can be done but almost every dog that I have ever seen on a flight never made a peep). Most airlines do not charge a fee to hold a baby on your lap and I’ve seen lots of parents who were allowed to extra carry-on bags because they had a baby or small children (plus normally they get to gate check a stroller or car seat at no charge). I know that dogs are not children but it is not right that the airlines put all of these restrictions on dog owners and then charge $100 or more each way for a dog that weighs less than a month old baby. Because of this I very rarely fly, I almost always do a road trip because it is so expensive and inconvenient to fly with my 8.5 pound dog.

    1. maureen kennedy|

      Bravo! I could have written your comment!

    2. Chris|

      Thanks for not flying much. Why are animals allowed in the cabin anyway. Recirculated air and having to smell your dog for 5 hours is crazy. At least children will finally quiet down. Dogs always smell to some extent. Remember the luggage compartment is pressurized the same as the passenger cabin. Would you bring a meowing cat or some other animal? Give me a kid any day!

      1. Laurel|

        Chris how about you fly in a crate in the luggage compartment and see if you still feel the same way. My dogs are crate trained and are fine in them at home but I would never put them in a crate in a strange place. It can be a really traumatizing experience for a dog to fly in the luggage compartment, remember that they are not just in there for the length of the flight but all the time from check in until they are unloaded. I have read of incidents where a dog has gotten loose from someone mishandling the crate and then running away because they are scared. I have been on flights where a kid has not settled down and was running up and down the aisle and scream. Also I have never had a dog kick the back of my seat for an entire flight. I would not bring a cat with me on a flight because I wouldn’t bring them on a trip with me, most cats would rather stay in their home than travel with their owners. The opposite is true of most dogs. I would take a small dog on a plane over any kid.

    3. flying pig|

      You have a problem with babies under 2 getting a free ride, take it up with the FAA. Their reasoning borders on stupidity – families would otherwise drive, and statistically, more likely to be in an accident – but somehow, that reasoning goes out the door at age 2.
      More importantly, as an adult you are expected to put on your seat belt, but our most precious and innocent human beings can be held during an emergency, whether it be a landing, or more likely, unexpected turbulence. Buy your child a ticket and put them in a carseat, for their protection, and your comfort, and for everyone’s sanity.

  16. Tommy Aitch|

    Or reclining at all. There’s no room between the seats and reclining pushes your setback into the face of the person behind you. Plus it makes using the tray almost impossible, especially to watch something on a laptop or iPad. Do what you mother told you: Sit up straight!

  17. Pam|

    Hate when people sitting behind me put their bare feet up on the seat and you can see them just over your shoulder! Also think it is inconsiderate for people to put small bags in the overhead when you know they have room under their seat!

    1. C Roy|

      If the ONLY carry-on I have is one small bag, sure, I’ll put it in the overhead – it takes up less than my 1/6th share of the overhead – & I deliberately packed light so that I wouldn’t have stuff blocking my feet. Why should I have to block my feet because others bring on (possibly 2) large bags?

  18. Bee|

    Really? Bare toes? Stinky feet sure but if looking at bare toes offends you, don’t look. That’s a silly thing to call a “bad habit”.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Bare toes don’t really bother me unless they are hairy or nasty looking. It’s more the smelly feet

    2. Chris|

      I would think it would be the feet being put up on the seat is the bad habit and not the toes. Every time the person moves it shakes your seat which is very irritating especially if you are trying to nap!

    3. Vicki|

      Feet belong on the floor, not on chairs, seats, tables, etc.

  19. Laura|

    “But they paid extra to have doggie in business class and you did bring your asthma inhaler, right?” My health is not a priority?!!!!

  20. Margie|

    When a man (women don not do this) puts his foot in my leg room space. He crosses his foot over the metal frame on the floor that defines leg room in front of each seat.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Haven’t had that but have had people in the bulkhead try to use the space under their seat since they didn’t have one.

      1. Chris|

        That’s because you are a man. Men don’t challenge other men for space, it might cause an altercation, but a lot of men think it’s okay to infringe on a women’s space because they are men and think they have the right. It’s very irritating. I’m 5’10” and have very long legs. I need every available inch of leg room, and no, I am not overweight. I have received some incredibly rude, offensive, and degrading remarks from men (with the most offensive/vulgar ones usually mumbled under their breath) just for politely asking to use my allotted space. The worst time was when I got into an argument with a guy because “other women don’t complain” and when I tried to explain I wasn’t complaining, I was just requesting my allotted space, I was called the C word and “reported” to the cabin crew. It was ridiculous. He actually told the flight attendant that he expected me to sit almost sideways with my knees against the wall. It was a very full flight and there were very few open seats but they managed to move me (no one nearby wanted to switch seats with me). It was probably very petty of me but when we were disembarking I stayed in my seat and waited for him to pass by to made a point of thanking him for complaining about me…from my nice comfy seat in first class. This was several years before 9-11, otherwise we both would have probably been removed from the plane.

  21. Zaid|

    Drunk passengers. The smell of alcohol is really unappealing to some people. Not sure if people realise this

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Agreed. I also had a guy a few weeks ago chewing tobacco and spitting it in his soda bottle. Smelled so bad

  22. Anne|

    I was on a flight from San Diego to NYC and I ended up in the middle seat. The man and the woman on either side of me did not know each other but proceeded to strike up a conversation. I offered to switch seats with one of them but they declined. As the flight continued and they started flirting, I offered again-no takers. There were no extra seats on the flight. By the time we landed they had made a date to meet up and who knows, maybe they ended up as a couple but for me it was the most uncomfortable flight I have ever been on.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      That’s ridiculous.

  23. Gretchen|

    Passengers in the bulk head seat removing their shoes and then putting their stinky feet on the wall in front of them. I have photos of several offenders.

  24. naoma|

    Worst experience — was on a flight with daughter age 9. I saw up ahead some “commotion” going on
    with two people in a seat where I had a fine view. They were naked — I kid you not — under a blanket and going full force. I told my daughter when I came back from telling them what they were doing was WAY OUT OF LINE. She was 9 and quite precocious – – when I said they were carrying on under a blanket doing something people should do in private she very casually said: “OH! AN ORGY!” True story.

  25. naoma|

    I left a reply — will it be printed — about the “orgy” on an airplane!!!

  26. Gabbie|

    People who, to stand up, grab on to seat in front of them, I’ve had my hair pulled so many times because of this!

  27. Terrie|

    It’s not just a BO that is offensive … There’s the awful flights where you’re trapped next to someone wearing strong perfume or cologne….men and women are both guilty of this, thinking it is somehow sexy or alluring rather than offensive on a long flight with no escape.

  28. JR_JustJR|

    Changing a baby diaper on the seat tray (or even on a seat).

    Somebody (at some point) is going to be EATING A MEAL on that tray, or sitting where your baby just had its dirty diaper removed.

    Don’t even get me started (!) about those flying arse-holes who leave dirty diapers in seat back pockets!!

  29. Gab|

    Hate it when passengers feel that being in an airplane is a good time to cut your nails. EEUUuuu…

    1. MR. A. B. JAMES|

      or apply nail polish!

  30. mimi|

    I think it’s rude when people snap their gum throughout a flight. It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s annoying when it does.

  31. Ellen Z|

    Until you sit next to a person with very heavy perfume – for a long plane ride – you just haven’t lived! Scent is such a personal choice – so it becomes an imposition on people sitting around you (especially people with allergies). Skip the spritz on any travel day!

    1. Kim|

      So agree on this. Also there are those of us that heavy perfume can actually sicken us. I don’t want the first few days of my trip ruined due to a migraine caused by the perfumed passenger who has doused themselves pre (and sometimes mid-flight) with their scent of choice. Again, just simple consideration for their fellow passengers would go a long way.

  32. Debbie|

    I once saw a woman take all of the hair off of her hairbrush (and it was a wad) and put it in the seat pocket in front of her. How gross if you’re the next person to sit there and to reach for the magazine in the pocket. Also, I once was on a flight from Phoenix to San Diego and the man next to me passed gas the whole way. I thought I was going to die!

    1. PB|

      The sum total of all these comments is that there are alot of self -centered, egotistical people in the world. Will they every recognize themselves as such? Perhaps we coulfd rent out Daniel Craig to incapacitate them for the flight?

  33. Tim|

    People on “Miracle flights” who request a wheelchair to get priority boarding and miraculously don’t need it when they land.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good one!

    2. Chris|

      I really don’t see what the rush is to get on the airplane. Unless you are flying Cattle-Call Air, you have an assigned seat! No one is going to take it away from you, and if they do, just tell the flight attendant! So what if you are the last person on, you still get to go! People need to chill and go with the flow. It makes for a much more relaxing time! I agree with the one guy earlier who said the plane should be boarded from the back forward. Things would go a lot smoother and you won’t have people standing and blocking the aisles looking for an overhead bin.

      1. Barbara|

        I’ve been on one too many flights where there was no room to put my carry-on in an overhead bin (near my seat of course). That is the primary reason to be in a rush to get on the plane.

  34. Randy|

    All of these are just freaking gross! I travel once a month to the Middle East and back and what I have seen still gives me nightmares! But here’s my question to Johnny and the rest of you….How do you deal with it or adress it to the “offender”? Other than tell the FA is there really a good way to tell someone they are a freaking PIG? Tips would be appreachiated :-)

    1. Johnny Jet|

      If it’s someone sneezing I usually kind them tell them to please cover their mouth or hand them a mask.

  35. Debbie|

    Love your top 10 Johnny Jet! How about those folks who give themselves a mani/pedi during flight! OR the ones who ask for coffee and then when they get it they then ask for sugar, cream, etc…I could go on and on…and thank you for bringing your flight attendants gifts!

  36. Carry Bean|

    GATE LICE! The people who huddle like a pack of hungry wolves at the gate before boarding so that
    when it’s your turn to board you have to fight your way through them & they look so offended.

    Passengers who overflow their seats & get into your space. I’m sympathetic to the problems of obesity but buy 2 seats or upgrade because you’re not entitled to half of mine. I paid for it, not you.

  37. nancy|

    All the toe haters! I can’t even see anyone’s toes. Maybe those are airPort problems and not airPlane problems.
    One thing I do when I find my seat is immediately slam my arm rest down. When someone larger sits and oozes into my space, I feel I am going to go crazy and it’s easier to do before they get there.
    I also love the window seat! I never in a million years thought of disrupting someone’s movie watching mountains and lakes and clouds and wondering where are all those people going and why isn’t anyone ever in the swimming pools? I’ll try to watch myself, not everyone is so fortunate to have a window seat.

  38. Rachel Heller|

    I was on a flight once in an aisle seat and a woman came over to have a chat with the man sitting next to me. They talked for a loooong time. The whole time she was hanging on to my seat next to my head and leaning forward so her boobs were literally blocking my view of my screen! When I pointed it out to her, she’d back off for a minute or two but then start doing it again! So rude!

  39. Karen/|

    People/staff slamming the overheard compartments – it’s rude and intrusive. And….folks wearing too much cologne/perfume — ugh

  40. Chareonthrab|

    Helpful information. Lucky me I discovered your site accidentally, and I’m shocked why this coincidence
    didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  41. JHF|

    Johnny — Your list and additions should be included as a highlighted sidebar in every issue of every onboard airline mag, under the heading “Onboard Hints.”

  42. Linda Bibb|

    Few airplane habits irk me as much as seeing a passenger put his/her carry-on in the first empty overhead bin they come to … and then walk to their seat in the back of the plane!

    I’ve thanked flight attendants who have noticed but often they aren’t around. It’s at those moments that I’ve been tempted to take their carry-on with me when I get off … can you think of a better way to handle it?

    1. MR. A. B. JAMES|

      if it is in your space , take it down and have it checked!

  43. Pam|

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned this one on trans continental flights…

    Please don’t be the co-workers who linger for 45 minutes in the space between the bulkhead and lavatories, using it as your private water cooler space to pontificate your “bull$h!t corporate latest”. You are talking into a microphone, the assumed veil of 30,000 foot secrecy is in your heads and everyone wants you gone.

    The voices carry under the overhead bins for five seats. The people in the bulkhead seats (who by now know your company and executive names) are just holding back from tossing drinks on you or calling your HR department to report you for public disclosure.

  44. Travis Longmore|

    So basically what you’re saying is: Don’t be a douchebag human being? You could put most of these with just about any other activity couldn’t you! Thankfully I don’t do any of these.

  45. Tara|

    Hahaha some these situations are so recognizable! Had a lot of fun reading your post :D


  46. Laurel|

    I didn’t realize some of my habits are possibly taboo, like wearing sandals on the plane (easier to get through security) but didn’t think about how I’m exposing myself to nasties in the lavatory either. Easy on-off closed toe shoes from now on.
    But here’s one I haven’t read yet. We were on a long flight recently and a stoned (didn’t appear drunk) guy went to the wrong seat after using the bathroom and almost sat on a small child. What’s worse, he passed a petite mother sitting in the aisle and proceeded to the child’s window seat. It took a few alert people to help the poor mom prevent the guy from sitting down. Finally he clued in enough and went to his own window seat — in the emergency exit row! Everyone was freaking out at that point. The flight attendant was awesome, responding quickly and firmly and got the guy put somewhere else. Phew!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Yikes! What airline and route?

      1. Laurel B|

        Non-stop flight from SMF to Maui (OGG I think it is) last Wednesday. Flight 805 I believe.

        1. Laurel B|

          Oops, forgot to mention it was Alaskan Air.

  47. Jean|

    Luggage hogs who drop carryon in first class for their convenience, then walk to coach.

    People who talk loudly during safety talk. Wish F/A would ask them to be quiet – someday I will!

    1. MR. A. B. JAMES|

      once had a woman told by the flight attendant very nicely to put away her phone! she continued to talk with her hand in the air telling the attendant to wait. i removed my sunglasses and told her if i am late for my meeting because of her she had better run when we got to our destination. the other passengers clapped!

  48. Helen|

    For me, it has to be people who spray perfume or cologne (but it’s usually perfume) or deodorant in the pressurised cabin. How stupid do you have to be? And the people who do this are often wearing far too much of the stuff in the first place!

    The comment about not wearing flipflops is ridiculous though. Unless that person has their feet in the air (or on the bulkhead, as someone said) or something, I can’t believe anyone would be sensitive about this! Having feet on show is a normal occurrence of everyday life (in summer). The comment about this opinion being Victorian did make me chuckle though.

  49. Emily|

    I’ve been flying a ton recently and noticed a huge jump on the amount of dogs on planes. And even stranger they are not confined and NOT have service vests on. Some people place the dog in a bag when they board, but multiple folks don’t even have a crate or bag with them.

    1. MM|

      I recently sat behind a woman who had brought on a small dog and put it underneath the seat in front of her. The dog proceeded to wail at the top of its lungs for the duration of the 2 plus hour flight.

    2. Victoria|

      And if the dog is well behaved, what’s wrong with that? I would much rather sit next to a cute, well behaved dog than a screaming, drooling kid!

  50. imawaffle|

    Even though it’s a recent Johnny tweet I just noticed this web page is over a year old. Oye….
    My biggest flying complaint: I could be on a flight full of models and, invariably, my seat companion will be the 280 pound guy wearing a muscle shirt.

    1. Johnny Jet|


  51. MM|

    Someone tries to ‘guilt’ you out of your assigned (maybe months in advance if it matters to you) window/aisle seat so they can sit next to their boyfriend/loved one, child, etc. Even worse is that they are already sitting in your assigned seat when you board and then try to force you to give it up in front of others. I saw someone do that the other day and the lady who owned the seat said, “This ain’t my first rodeo. If you want it you have to buy me two drinks.” Had to chuckle.

  52. Paul|

    Johnny, congrats on your newborn…
    I am sure it made your year.
    On your comments (thank you) however you and I as well others that have similar opinions or as I call it etiquette, are in a very small minority and getting smaller.
    Most folks today believe the rights they enjoy are theirs alone. Until it happens to them!
    I hate flying more and more…airlines are shrinking the seating area therefore putting people in very odd or aggressive state.
    Of course they need the coach flyers more than we need them, however they certainly go out of their way to make us feel like we don’t matter. Try filling a plane with (paying) first class flyers? Not the ones that use miles and rewards. They will be flying very empty planes.
    Keep up the good work. Catch on Leo’s show.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks, Paul!

  53. Doris|

    When people in the back of the plane race down the aisle to get off faster – except they can’t because the people in the front of the plane
    are standing in the aisle trying to get off.

  54. donron|

    One of my biggest pet peeves in travel happens before you get on the plane…. some many selfish people out there these days who think nothing of putting their (all too numerous) carry-on bags etc on the seats in the waiting area for the flight to board. There can be people standing all over the place, but they have to take up seats for their damn bags. Extremely inconsiderate!

  55. shell|

    what kind of mask do you wear? Is it okay for 5 hour trip? Some masks are only good for 1 hour. Really have to know as I have to protect my immunity system. thanks

  56. C Roy|

    Re: Your item 8: If the seat in front is reclined, I’d have to be an acrobat to get out of my seat without pulling on the back of the seat in front – the front seatback is way behind my feet, so I have to stand up while leaning backwards. Not gonna happen at my age (66)!

  57. Valerie Sindal|

    Putting up your feet on the back of the armrest between the seats in front of you. I’ve had someone do this behind me, and though I can’t see their feet I can definitely feel them and even smell it at some point. The worse is when you are leaning your seat back and then their toes are right there poking the back of your arm. Ewwww…

  58. Deb|

    I recently had the flight from hell, from SFO to Germany. Our travel agent booked us tickets in the bulk row. (she never told us). I was in the window seat, w/o window. The guy in front of me slammed his seat back. He did this the entire flight, almost knocked my foo tray and wine on me. Numerous times the flight attendant ( I never said a word to them) had to tell him to put his seat up. I felt so closed in, that I got up and stood in the galley 99% of the flight. I’ll be honest and say, I was so upset (pissed off) at his behavior that I put both feet on his seat and kicked. Yes, I know way over the top, not ok. He didn’t even flinch. My husband sat in the middle, and next to him was a difficult man. He had to have a special meal, which he is entitled to , but once the flight attendant served his meal(just before ours) he just stared at ti. She finally asked him if there was a problem and he said, he wasn’t hungry now….. I almost never recline my seat If I do, it’s just a little, because we are all are sardines in economy and I try to be considerate. Something, that happens often, is a tall passenger in economy, will almost always have his knees into my back of my seat. UGH!!! I’ve encountered all of the above on them many times, I’ve flown.

  59. Debra|

    I actually do have a Dr Approved Service Dog. She is very small. I put her under the seat in front and usually let her pop her head out once we’ve landed. Everyone around is surprised to see they had been flying next to a dog.

    I am an honest person, but if she weren’t legal, I might be tempted to sneak her on. As I said, she is quiet and no one ever even knows she’s there. That can’t be said about lap babies flying free, screaming their heads off and torturing everyone around them. I might be ok if they charged the same for her as a checked bag, but their fees are excessive.

  60. Debra|

    To clarify excessive. On short flights, the pet fee is sometimes more than what I have paid for my ticket!!

  61. GSB|

    I find people wearing strong perfume offensive! It’s actually worse than body odor, although that’s a close second. Perfume triggers asthma and increased respiratory distress in people with common conditions such as COPD, allergiesr, reactive airway disease and even if you have just recovered from a cold. It’s rude. A good habit is to come aboard clean with no strong odors from yourself or anything you carry aboard. I appreciate curtesy from my fellow passengers and do my best to respectful to my fellow passengers.

  62. Jay|

    Imo, you can’t stress the lack of consideration from the person behind you- whether it’s the person who lets their tray table flop down without catching it, the person who keeps digging in the pocket behind you (seats are too thin, so you feel everything), or the parent with a 3 year old who has no way to understand that their straight-legged kicking of that seat is either keeping someone awake, or forcing them to consider a murderous act at 40k’.


    How I handled someone who put their seat all the way down in front of me on my flight from LA to Sydney! After asking them to raise his seat a little, which he ignored, I acted like the buttons for my screen weren’t working and kept hitting them very hard so that I was basically stabbing him in the back and I kept saying that were weren’t working. He looked back at me, but I ignored him. Then, when he finally sat up straight, I said: Oh, they’re working now! He did NOT put his seat back down.

  64. Stephen|

    These are not just airplane rules. These rules apply to everyone every day. These rules are simple courtesies of a civilized society.

  65. Mary F|

    I hate it when I pay extra to sit in upgraded seats and pick a seat close to the front of the plane just to have passengers with seats at the back of the plane come in and put their luggage in the overheads closest to the front. WRONG on too many levels and totally rude and inconsiderate.

  66. Anonymous|

    I see women combing their hair while seated, not considering the people around or behind them. Ugh!!!!

  67. Russ K|

    How about eliminating the games from the seatback entertainment. Try sitting in the seat where the guy behind you is poking the screen playing solitaire for the entire 5 hour flight.

  68. Greta|

    Recliners are the worst!
    How about a product I would call “ ACHOO” —which is nothing more than water in a small spray bottle. I pretend to sneeze and spray the mist of water over the recliner’s head in front of me! Then watch how fast they put their seat up!
    Or if the recliner’s head is practically in my lap, ask “Would you like the facial today? Or the massage?”
    Or, I have been known to yell “OUCH” when they recline! That sometimes works!


    I have an amputation of my right leg and use a wheelchair most of the time, despite having a prosthetic leg. I booked a flight three months ahead of time, through my travel agent so I could get a bulkhead seat as mobility/seating is often problematic with me. All was set. When I went to board the plane. an older heavy-set woman was sitting in my seat. I showed her my boarding pass and explained to her she was sitting in my seat! She refused to move and then turned her ahead away and ignored me! Flight attendant could not get her to move either. The old woman kept on saying “no.” Flight attendant then, just took me to another row, where all three seats were empty thus giving me more room. Several minutes later when we up in the air, a woman with a screaming child passed me in the aisle while heading to the bathroom. When they were done, they exited the bathroom and headed up back toward their seat. A few minutes later, she returned, screaming child in tow, and asked me who was seating in the two empty seats next to me, while squeezing past me, dropping all their junk and bodies in those two seats! BTW, her little toddler was a “ride free sitting on parents lap.” I checked. So now I had lost my prebooked seat and she ended up with a free extra seat, for the child, who continued to yell and scream and jump all over her seat, for the duration of the 4-hour flight No parent intervention. To add insult to injury, I had also requested a wheelchair where I would exit the plane, as I had “checked” mine and that old lady who refused to get out of my seat said it was reserved for her! Plopped her butt in it and again refused to get out! Attendant said yes it was mine but there was nothing he could do as he couldn’t just pull her out of the chair, and she was now drawing the attention of everyone around as she started yelling that they were treating her cruelly and trying to take “HER” chair away. Attendant requested another wheelchair be sent for me. It arrived 40 minutes later. What a pleasant experience and flight! This happened 9 years ago, and I haven’t flown again since this happened. My dad worked for a major US airline for over 35 years and besides flying, we were taught to behave in a nonconfrontational manner and respect others. When this happened, I was 60 years old myself and not just a youngster trying to steal HER stolen seat X two!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Martha

      That is a crazy story. I’m so sorry there’s so many rude people out there. I don’t think it would happen today but if you ever get a whole row to yourself, you immediately have to sit in the middle.

  70. jeannie|

    The number one irritation is if you are flying way in the back of coach, it takes you 20 minutes to get off an airplane because passengers wait until the very end to get out of their seat and gather their bags from the storage departments. There is no reason as the seats ahead of you start to empty that you don’t get ready. Get up, get your bag and be ready to move. I also have no problem with passengers departing from behind if I am not ready to deboard – dropped something, etc. Number one consideration – don’t block people from behind you from deplaning is they are ready to walk down the aisle – just get out of their way and keep the passengers moving. Some have tight connections. But no. Most just wait till the very end, get out of the seat and just take your time gathering your belongings while the aisle is now empty in front of you, and you have created a bottle neck. So inconsiderate. This same passenger takes all their sweet time to stand in the aisle on boarding while casually arranging the overhead instead of stepping aside. Letting passengers pass is a considerate passenger – remember you are not the only one on the airplane.

  71. Jeannie Wood|

    I’m allergic to animals, cigarette smoke, some perfumes and bad tempers. Sitting near someone who is obviously a heavy smoker makes me wheeze and cough and it’s not fun. Don’t know what to do except ask for another seat.



  73. Anonymous|

    men or women who flip long hair over the seat ……next to me on the plane or sitting next to me. it is digusting…..i don’t know or care to know what is in your hair. just be considerate please.

  74. Trolly Dolly|

    Cabin crew here. We do NOT want to deal with an allergic reaction to animals onboard (service or otherwise) and cannot deny their transport by law. We are made aware of their passage and try to alert those seated nearby but please keep your fur baby in their carrier — it’s for their safety as well.

  75. Trolly Dolly|

    “Civil aviation” is truly an oxymoron — you have to wonder what cave some passengers crawled out of these days.


    People who recline their seat in the economy. The ticket you bought is for you seat space not to invade other space and then you still have the guts to spread you hair out! How i wish i have scissors to cut them. You need to be mindful that at the back of your seat is a screen and tray table for the back passenger’s use. You uncivilized moron!

  77. Jill Johnson|

    Let’s talk about “the back of the seat in front”. That’s not just a phrase – the back of the seat you’re looking at is someone else’s seat. So everything you do to it is affecting the person sat in front of you. When you tug on it to get up or lower yourself into your seat, you’re pulling on that person’s seat. You don’t have a high backed chair in front of your sofa at home, yet you manage to get up and down from that without needing something to pull on. So why do you need to do that on the plane? Your plane seat has armrests to help you get up and down. I know we don’t have much room between rows, but use your own seat to brace yourself! Push against the back of that to keep yourself upright instead of tugging on the seat in front. Next – that video screen is a TOUCH screen. It will respond to the touch of a nail, never mind a finger. Do you push, jab or bang on the screen when using your phone or tablet? No. So there’s no need to do it to the seatback screen either. Don’t slam the tray table up and down and don’t let your kids put it down and then keep banging on it. As for seat reclining, I know it cuts down on our space when the seat in front does it, but let’s keep this in perspective. Most economy seats only recline by 3 inches, economy plus is about 5 inches. Over the past 20 years, I’ve probably flown every major airline in the world. So other than first/business class with lie-flat seats which recline into their own pod, I’d like to know which airlines have seats that recline all the way “into your lap”. Stop exaggerating. Re carry-on luggage, when it comes to the overhead bins, be considerate. Don’t store your 2 suitcases length-wise so you’re taking all the space for 6 seats. And if there’s still room after you’ve stowed your bags, don’t close the bin as that’s an indication that it’s full. And finally, if you’re wearing a backpack, be aware that when you turn, you’re swinging that 12″-18″ thick heavy object into the face of anyone sitting in the aisle seat behind you. With all the security rules in place, it’s already stressful enough being in the airport or on a plane. The least we can do is be considerate of our fellow passengers.

  78. Anonymous|

    People who lay there seats back in my lap.

  79. Nibor|

    Hate the loud talkers and the large traveling groups who act like it’s the first time they’ve ever been out in public, calling constant attention to themselves, etc. REALLY hate any loud talkers and germ-spewing coughers who won’t cover their disgusting mouths. Not a fan of people who get up the second the plane lands, blocking the aisle so you can’t get up when it’s your turn (close connections aside). FINALLY, I hate that the flight attendants ignore so many of these behaviors. On a recent flight, several men, traveling together but seated in different rows, all drunk, were YELLING to each other, using really foul language, well before the cabin doors were closed. They should have been thrown off, but the flight attendants ignored it. I complained to Delta, and never heard a word in response.

  80. Patricia West Hays|

    My big pet peeve: Overloading with perfume. I have stood in a boarding line and PRAYED not to be seated next to the woman who was three people in front of me. My prayer was answered, but strong perfume can make me nauseated.

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