Traveling gives you the opportunity to learn about new cultures, eat different foods and explore some of the most beautiful places on earth. And thanks to advances in transportation technology, getting to those desired destinations has never been easier.
However, bad travel behavior is unfortunately still prevalent on flights, buses, trains and even in ridesharing services. But what really bugs us the most when it comes to travel etiquette? In order to find out, we surveyed 2,000 Americans who fly at least twice per year to determine the worst offenses when it comes to flying, public transportation and ridesharing. Our analysis covers everything from the top annoyances and how people confront them—if they do.
Air Travel Etiquette and Comfort
Air travel gets us where we need to go, but it can also make for a long, long day. As the amenities start to dwindle and the leg room gets smaller, it’s easy to get worn out and uncomfortable during a flight. In fact, our survey revealed that the average amount of time before people get uncomfortable on a flight is three hours.
So, what do travelers do to combat this discomfort? In order to get more comfortable on a flight, many fliers will try adjusting their seat or using a travel pillow while others may kick off their shoes and socks. But is this socially acceptable? According to our survey, 64% said it’s OK to take their shoes off, and 20% said it’s OK to take your socks off to get more comfortable during a flight.
Lastly, we asked our survey to rank flying annoyances. Coming in at No. 1 with 54% of the vote was getting your seat kicked. A crying child followed seat kicking with 27% of the vote and body odor came in third with 26% of the vote. Other flying annoyances were a talkative passenger, inattentive parents, a drunk passenger, a seat pulled back or leaned on, snoring, rushing to get off the plane as soon as it gets to the gate, a reclining seat, a passenger putting their feet up, smelly food, man-spreading, a passenger removing their socks or shoes, bright screens on phones, non-service dogs, and finally in last place was dressing sloppy, which bothered just 1% of our survey.
Public Transportation and Ride Sharing Annoyances
Once you arrive to your gate and get on the ground at your destination, you’ll need a way to go from point A to point B in town. While some travelers choose to rent a car, others rely on public transportation or ridesharing services while they’re in town.
We asked our survey participants to tell us the most annoying things that happen while they use public transportation and ridesharing, and the results may surprise you.
As far as public transportation annoyances, our survey overwhelmingly said that talking loudly on the phone was the No. 1 offense, with 54% agreeing. Talking loudly on the phone was followed by body odor, which 41% of our survey disliked. Coming in at No. 3 on the list of annoying public transportation habits was playing music without headphones, followed by taking up seats with bags, not giving up a seat for an elderly passenger and a talkative passenger. Coming in at the bottom of our list were the annoying habits of FaceTiming without headphones, putting legs or feet on the seat, eating smelly food, and finally, man-spreading.
When it comes to ridesharing, 44% of our survey respondents couldn’t stand it when their driver had aggressive driving habits. Following aggressive driving was a driver talking on the phone, which 32% of our survey couldn’t stand. Coming in at No. 3 was a dirty/messy car, followed by hitting the brakes too hard or accelerating too fast, a talkative driver, a driver with bad taste in music, a driver holding their phone, a driver who was eating a meal, a driver who asked you to rate them well, and a driver asking for a tip. Coming in at the bottom of our ride sharing annoyances were an old car or mechanical issues, a driver promoting another business and finally, a driver giving you a bad rating.