The 10 worst types of passengers to have on a flight

Personal hygiene and screaming children have emerged as the leading complaints of passengers in the annual ‘Passengers from Hell survey’., the global airline safety and product ratings website, surveyed its readers on 10 passenger types who they felt caused the most grief on planes.

Respondents were asked to rank passenger types from the most irritating to the least.

According to editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas, the level of frustration for the smelly passenger reflects a decline in hygiene standards. “There has been a significant shift in passengers’ gripes about their fellow travellers, who are either not conscious of their odour or don’t care,” said Thomas.

“With online or cell phone check-in now widespread, offending passengers are slipping through the traditional checks and only coming into contact with airline agents at the boarding gate. The agents, under pressure to get the flight away, let offenders slip through.”

“Dress standards have also declined on planes with some airlines, like Australia’s Qantas, now enforcing dress standards at least in the lounges,” said Thomas.

According to, these are the top 10 most annoying passengers:

  • Out of control children;
  • Passengers who recline their seat;
  • The passenger who hogs the armrest (Passenger etiquette dictates that the passenger in the middle seat gets both armrests);
  • The increasing amount of carry-on baggage (On most standard single-aisle aircraft there is not enough overhead baggage space to accommodate all the carry-on baggage);
  • The passenger with the weak bladder;
  • The chatterbox;
  • The passengers who do exercises in the aisle;
  • The arrogant and demanding passenger who insists on being served before anyone else and is constantly annoying the flight attendants, who are usually run off their feet;
  • The window hogger, who pulls at the window shade for the entire flight.

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The 10 worst types of passengers to have on a flight