Expedia names US Worst Passengers-I say its time to Ban reclining seats!

Expedia engages GfK market research company each year to identify the passenger behaviours that infuriate others. This year, 1,005 US citizens aged 18 and over gave their feedback.

The good news, which not many have focused on, is that 79 percent of people believe that “for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate of one another”. But this means 21 percent of passengers are gripey with rest of the public.

Interestingly, the top three poor behaviours people encounter on planes, are unchanged from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Airplane Etiquette surveys.

In order of frustration caused:

1. The Rear Seat Kicker (I have not had much of this at all) 64 percent
2.Inattentive Parents (Would not have been my number 2) 59 percent
3. Aromatic Passenger (My worst fear trapped for hours) 55 percent
4. Audio Insensitive (loud talker or music listener) 49 percent
4. The Boozer (drinks too much before and/or on the plane) 49 percent
6. Chatty Cathy (35% of People would pay more to sit in a Quiet Zone) 40 percent
7. The Queue Jumper (A personal hatred of mine) 35 percent
7. Seat-Back Guy (My No 1 hate..I would ban reclining seats*) 35 percent
9. The Armrest Hog (My No. 3 hate- come on and share) 34 percent
10. Pungent Foodies (Missed this for the most part) 30 percent
11. The Undresser (also been spared this) 28 percent
11. The Amorous (3% of pax have been amorous on a plane) 28 percent
13. The Mad Bladder (I feel sorry for people with weak bladders) 22 percent
14. The Single and Ready to Mingle 18 percent

*Of those surveyed:

  • 53 percent always recline their seats when flying – eleven percent said they would do so even if the passenger behind them was “noticeably pregnant
  • 23 percent (which includes me when I am seated in Economy class) never recline because they do not think its  “proper etiquette.”
  • 11 percent do not recline because they find it uncomfortable!

I think, for the lack of space in most Economy/Coach sections and the number of flights that have had police called over seat reclining fights, it is time to get rid of reclining all together.

We are a cowardly or non-confrontational lot (take your pick). Most American aeroplane passengers won’t address a passenger irritation directly. Most (Sixty-two percent) will tell the flight attendant and expect them to handle the situation. A third-33% (including me) will endure the situation without saying anything.  The remainder would “confront”.

One in six  (13 percent of passengers) will video the offending behaviour.  Five percent would vent about the situation on social media. Three percent would actively “shame” the passenger.

The part of the survey that I was most sceptical of, was the section which asked people if they paid attention to the safety briefing:

  • 39 percent said they “always” pay attention. I think it is far less from what I have seen on US aeroplanes.
  • 42 said they do occasionally listen

Fifteen percent of passengers surveyed said they never switch their telephone off while two-thirds say they always do!

What do you think needs to be done to improve etiquette?

Do you agree we should get rid of reclining seats?

Would you recline your seat even if the passenger behind you was visibly pregnant?



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