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What passengers dislike about the airline travel experience


What do you particularly dislike about air travel in the 21st century?

Read what airline passengers dislike about air travel of today, and add your own comments.





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Its fellow passengers! Once upon a time, airline passengers generally knew what they were doing and had the good manners to appreciate the well-being of those sitting close-by around them. Not any more - lack of consideration when shoving their seat back, talking loudly over safety demonstrations, abusing flight crew for delays due to bad weather, not bothering to find out what code-share flights mean, etc etc.

*Roger Stone  (Australia)  27 May 2012

Airlines that configure the economy section with an extra seat abreast from the industry norm. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air France amongst others put 10 abreast (3x4x3) on the B777 where its normal to have 9 across. UK Charter airlines do the same on A330 (9 across instead of 8across). If airlines don't show seat maps on their websites - they have something to hide. Beware.

*Michael Davies  (UK)  5 December 2011

No one has had the guts to mention the regular airline passenger hate - the wet toilet floor! Why does this happen? Can passengers not hit the bowl? On a recent flight LHR to JFK on BA two toilets on a 747 had puddles on the floor. I think that airlines should put up a notice "Stand up closer, its shorter than you think!"

*Ed Shield  (UK)  10 October 2011

The person in the next seat who monopolizes the arm rest and pushes his/her elbows into your space.

*C Andrade  (India)  6 October 2011

Airfares that are quoted, at least in North America, without so called taxes and fees included. These fees are mostly an integral part of the airfare, so why leaving them as an extra? This week's special on one site is Toronto to Frankfurt RT for 99$ plus 622$ taxes and fees. This sounds ridiculous to me.

*L Fontana  (Canada)  5 October 2011

Passengers reclining seats abruptly - I don't know why an announcement can't be made at mealtimes for everyone to put their seats upright. People using my seat to pull themselves up, being kicked in the back by children swinging their legs. Oversized luggage being crammed into overhead lockers - why can't such luggage be stopped at the gate and put into the hold? Disembarkation is a scrum - but what maddens me is people who take ages to get their stuff out of the locker and hold up the rest of those who are trying to get off the plane.

*J Bentley  (UK)  5 October 2011

Boarding calls being made or screens showing final call when the flight hasn't actually started boarding, or in some cases, the aircraft hasn't even arrived at the gate yet.

*Andrew Coogans  (UK)  5 October 2011

Getting on a plane from Country X and the cabin staff refusing to speak that country's national language.

*Kurt Mueller  (UK)  14 September 2011

I have to agree with the other comments about passengers and their seat backs in economy, especially during long-haul flights or during meals. An inability to wait for your section of the plane to be called for boarding in airports that do call sections is also irritating. I've been through many airports that have no apparent system for boarding: one calls out the back rows and then nothing else because of those passengers, another shows a sign indicating boarding when not boarding, another assumes you know your boarding time and makes no announcement whatsoever. Paying for what shouldn't be extras, like bringing bags and eating food on the flight, is a ridiculous cash-grab on the airlines' behalf. Listing prices that are nowhere near what you actually wind up paying for the flight after fees and taxes.

*F Arie  (Canada)  6 September 2011

I hate these passengers that board the plane with clearly oversize baggage that is forced into the overhead lockers leaving no room for my legit sized bag. I recently saw a young man try to take a surfboard as hand luggage!

*Ed Shield  (UK)  6 September 2011

When the airline do not offer you a seat reservation upon buying the ticket. I bought a ticket by Turkish Airlines in June going to Dhaka in September. Still they are not able to give me a reserved seat, and say it is being done one week ahead of travel. Being a gold card member with another Star Alliance member does not help.

*Oddvar Johansen  (Norway)  6 September 2011

People who hold up check-in when told by staff that only one carry on is allowed. These people think that they should be exempted and then stand and argue the point in loud voices, hoping that this will influence staff to relax the rule.

*J Cobcroft  (Australia)  6 September 2011

When travelling First of Business your luggage is tagged for Priority handling, it's so annoying when the priority handling doesn't work and your luggage arrives on the conveyor belt with the delivery of the main cabin luggage rather than being among the first luggage through.

*Darran Burr  (UK)  6 September 2011

When you pay for premium boarding and you get on a shuttle bus only to find that you will be the last on the plane!

*Matthew Kelly  (UK)  8 August 2011

People who stand up before the plane has come to a halt. Do they think they’ll get off the plane any quicker? Why stand for 10 minutes or more? If I’m not in anyone’s way, eg. a window seat, I wait until the plane is almost empty and then I get looked at by other passengers as if they think I’m a criminal waiting for the police!

*Colin Birch  (UK)  8 May 2011

Anyone reclining their seat in economy, particularly at mealtimes. It is inconsiderate and rude to the person sitting behind as there simply isn't enough room in economy to recline seat backs.

*Steve Clarke  (UK)  18 March 2011

Nickle and diming people for everything from basic snacks mid-flight on long-hauls, alcohol, and luggage fees. I cannot understand why the airlines just don't just charge more for the ticket, the price that is required for these things. Then everyone can have a good flying experience, hassle-free. If you can't afford to fly, then don't.

*Brian Smith  (Japan)  14 March 2011

Paying for extra legroom and then have people stand in that space you have just paid extra money for to stretch or talk.

*M Graham  (UK)  9 March 2011

It's irritating when you book a flight with your preferred airline and it's a code-share with another airline that does not provide the same (high) level of service.

*S Potts  (Netherlands)  5 March 2011

Why do people have to recline their seats fully and then sit forward in them? Not returning seats to semi-upright at least during meals in inconsiderate.

*Claude Roederer  (Australia)  28 February 2011

The wonderfully inconsiderate pax who insist on wearing their backpacks while boarding the plane and whack everybody already sitting in an aisle seat in the head when they turn. And of course, they also take up double space in the airport transfer buses.

*Andrew Mueller  (Germany)  14 February 2011

Airline websites that give you 15 minutes to book a flight, fine if its just for you but when you have a family of six to book in, you feel you are in a race against time.. When the 15 minutes is up, you are put back to the home page of the airline , whether you have finished or not I had a very stressful time booking the flight instead of it being enjoyable and exciting time. It would be nice if they had a pop up asking if you would like more time.

*Tracey Ferreira  (UK)  26 January 2011

Passengers who use their electronic devices when they've been told not to do so due to safety concerns. This usually occurs under an altitude of 10,000 feet after takeoff or prior to landing.

*Jeff Lemon  (USA)  26 January 2011

Passengers who don't understand security procedures and delay everybody else in the queue behind them.

*David Griffiths  (UK)  4 January 2011

Transit in Frankfurt. A terrible experience. It's like running around in a labyrinth. Up, down, right, left, with very confusing signs. I always chose Munich.

*Oddvar Johansen  (Norway)  1 January 2011

Passengers that seem unable to cover their face when they cough or sneeze. Normally they are right behind you and seem to delight in sneezing down your neck.

*F Timpson  (UK)  20 December 2010

Airline magazines that constantly remind passengers to drink lots of water - and cabin crews that never bring it.

*Iain Williamson  (Finland)  5 December 2010

One thing that gets on my nerves is the frantic search in the overhead bin that takes place soon after take-off. Couldn't these people think of what they need before pushing everything up there and then disturbing everyone with their searches and banging of the doors one after the other.

*J Harvey  (Canada)  28 November 2010

The erosion of the one-piece-of-cabin-baggage-per-person rule. Especially flying out of Dubai to certain destinations the amount of duty free rubbish that is brought on board on top of the one permitted small case is beyond belief.

*Kurt Müller  (Germany)  26 November 2010

Airline advertising and their websites that oversell great service which never lives up to expectation.

*Alan Wan  (UK)  26 November 2010

People who use your headrest as a handrail and also feel the need to grab a chunk of your hair at the same time. I also agree with a previous contributor with reference to some passengers being very loud. I recently had one of the seats at the rear of a 747 and due to the space behind, many passengers decided to use this space as a social area which is no big deal, but when these people (who seem incapable of talking normally but feel the need to shout) use my headrest as a support and keep me awake during an overnight flight, that is just downright rude. As for those who board with their metal framed backpacks still mounted on their backs who are oblivious to the fact that they virtually decapitate every pax in an aisle seat when making their way up the cabin.

*David Passmore  (UK)  26 November 2010

I hate the idea of priority boarding which the low cost airlines use. It causes mad scrums at the boarding gates and it's just a waste of time for just paying £4 to £8 per person, per one way flight to just board the aircraft first when everyone gets a seat on the aircraft.

*Joe Ross  (UK)  24 November 2010

Passengers who unfasten their seatbelts after landing before the 'fasten seat belt sign' has been turned off. Often hear the clicking of belts being undone before the aircraft has left the runway let alone reached its stand. Passengers who use mobile phones before they reach the terminal, especially when being bussed or walking across the apron. Let alone those who use a blackberry during take off landing and taxi, even though they are told they cannot. Like others I hate those airlines which choose not to include taxes in the fare you first see. By the time a £6 each way fare is totted up it suddenly becomes £85-£90. Misleading and unnecessary.

*Richard Mortara  (UK)  21 November 2010

I strongly dislike the idea of baggage fees. They are exorbitant and make air travel very expensive. They also mean that passengers try to carry much larger carry-on bags on board and try to get them into the overhead lockers.

*Adrian Jenkins  (New Zealand)  11 November 2010

My dislike - CRJ Regional Jets. Narrow fuselage means narrow seats. Airlines like to configure these jets so passengers are squeezed in both front to back and side to side. They have miniscule overhead bins so a standard size carry on bag has to be gate checked. This can be a great inconvenience if one has a tight connection to make due to delays or booking. All in all I shall avoid these planes in the future.

*Bill Burke  (USA)  1 November 2010

One of the most annoying yet common situations - when boarding, an announcement is first made about boarding in an orderly manner according to row numbers; then, the initial announcement is made for rows x to y - then nothing. You are left to "hang around" near the check-in and guess when it may be appropriate to board. Especially irritating when it's a large aircraft and one is concerned about there being enough room in the overhead bins.

*Vineet Bapat  (Canada)  30 October 2010

Ever since 9/11 I am still mortified by home-bred American's who take scissors, nail files and other sharp objects with them, only to have them taken away at the security check point. Then they act like they're being insulted because it shouldn't happen to them. I have witnessed many of these folks yell at TSA staff because they believe they should never be singled out.

*Tony Singh  (USA)  30 October 2010

Seat back entertainment with touchscreens. Now, as well as kicking the back of your seat, passengers (especially kids playing games) can now thump it for hour after hour.

*Neil Ramsay  (Australia)  29 October 2010


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