Road Warrior

Are You a Perfect Passenger or Annoying Seatmate?


A new survey reveals who flight attendants think are the perfect passengers, as well as traits of other fliers that annoy them the most. Which type of passenger are you?

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Skyscanner, a travel search website, surveyed more than 700 international flight attendants across the globe. The results were released last Wednesday.

The Most Annoying Passenger Habits

According to the survey, the biggest gripes of cabin crewmembers are:

  • Clicking fingers to get their attention (26 percent)
  • Passengers leaving their seat at the end of the flight before the seat belt sign is turned off (13 percent)
  • Stuffing too many bags in the overhead bins (11 percent)
  • Complaining there's no space for carry-on bags (10 percent)
  • Talking through the safety demo (9 percent)
  • Asking for more blankets/pillows (8 percent)
  • Stuffing rubbish in the seat pocket (7 percent)
  • Asking for a different meal (6 percent)
  • Ringing the flight attendant call button to complain about cabin temperature (6 percent)
  • Asking for a specific brand of drink (4 percent)

Amanda Schuier, a road warrior who travels more than 125,000 miles annually on Delta Air Lines, agrees with many of the results. "It would never even cross my mind to snap my fingers to get a flight attendant's attention," she said.

"I guess my bottom line is that if you are a respectful passenger, don't have crazy demands, are pleasant to those around you, then the flight attendants will respect you and appreciate you as a customer," said Schuier.

Many of you agree, having left feedback on a previous story we ran. (Read more: What Do Flight Attendants Really Think of You?)

On the flip side, being rude or showing aggressive behavior can get you booted off a flight. "You run the risk of being removed or being met by law enforcement at the conclusion of your flight," said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group.

I think flight attendants have a challenging job. No, I'm not talking about serving you a drink in a plastic cup. I'm referring to the many roles they end up playing, many of which are forced upon them by passengers themselves. From impromptu baby sitter to counselor, I've seen flight attendants handle all kinds of situations and demands that aren't in their job description. And most of them do it with a smile.

Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving weekend!