Media Release

The plane truth: Australia’s 12 most annoying in-flight habits

  • Seat kickers are the most annoying passengers
  • Bad body odour and crying babies round out the top 3
  • 5 airline etiquette rules everyone should follow

22 March, 2018, Sydney, Australia – Over half of Australian travellers (55%) hate kick-happy passengers when they fly, according to new research by, the site that compares virtually everything.

The survey of 2,306 respondents shows that bad body odour closely follows, with 54% of flyers annoyed by smelly passengers.

Rounding out the top three in-flight hates is crying babies, with 38% of respondents finding loud or misbehaved kids annoying.

Angus Kidman, Travel Expert and editor-in-chief at, understands Aussies’ flying frustrations.

“These issues aren't easily ignored. If you constantly have someone kicking the back of your seat, it can become incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re trying to sleep.”

“It’s almost surprising to see noisy kids at number three. You’d think it might come in a little higher with all the talk of kid-free zones on planes.”

Reclining during meal times, and people that cough and sneeze without their hands covering their mouth round out the top five.

“Flying is rarely the favourite part of anyone's holiday, but being respectful and treating others well makes it better for everyone."

5 airline etiquette rules everyone should follow

1. Don’t recline on short flights
Just because your seat has the ability to recline, doesn’t mean it always has to, especially if it’s only a short trip from Sydney to Brisbane.

That’s not to say that you should never recline, just be respectful and understand there are some times that are a definite no-go for reclining, such as during food service. If you do choose to tilt your seat back, make sure you do it slowly and carefully, that way the person sitting behind you doesn’t end up with their glass of red all over them.

2. Don’t overdo the booze
Be mindful and don’t get too drunk. A few wines to calm the flying nerves is ok, but you don’t want to end up going viral by getting filmed being a belligerent drunk towards the air hostess. The less you drink, the less you’ll need to get up and interrupt your fellow passengers by going to the toilet too.

3. Read the signs
Some passengers might be super chatty, while other prefer to keep to themselves, to try to read the signs. If they keep going to put their headphones, it’s probably time to stop asking them questions. Not only should you keep your conversation to yourself, you should also keep your elbows to yourself too! Don’t manspread and take up more of the already limited space each passenger has.

4. Avoid smelly food
This might go without saying, but skip bringing your egg sandwich or leftover curry as a snack. The smell will linger and you won’t make any friends. If you do want to bring a snack, think of more odourless foods such as rice crackers, apples or chips.

5. Keep the kids entertained
Try to be respectful and keep your kids’ volume down. Download some movies using Netflix offline viewing on your phone or iPad to keep them entertained and quiet during the duration of the flight. Not only will this make the flight easier for you, but your fellow passengers too!


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