Top 10 Travel Pet Peeves & Annoyances That You Should Be Aware Of

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Top 10 Travel Pet Peeves

Top 10 Travel Pet Peeves That You Should Be Aware Of

Travel pet peeves, I have them, you have them, we all have them. Last week I wrote about 2 pet peeves that happened on a recent red eye flight. I also posted the article in our Facebook group and asked them to share their thoughts.  Everyone seemed to have fun with it, especially the people who called me a jerk (cough cough Bethany).

Because of the response we got I decided to do a poll in the group asking what everyone’s biggest travel pet peeves were.  I have compiled the results of that poll and created a top 10 travel pet peeves & annoyances list.

RELATED: Is Bringing Stinky Food on the Plane Considered Rude?  Share Your Thoughts.

The List

To perform the poll I created a list of travel pet peeves that I knew would be popular among experienced travelers.  I also left it open for others to add in new options and let the voting go on for a week.  There were quite a few submissions (over 30 in all) so I limited it to the top 10 things that drive people crazy when flying.

10. Bringing Stinky Food on the Plane – 17 Votes
9. Economy Passengers Using First Class or Economy Comfort Overhead Space – 22 Votes
8. Someone Putting Their Feet on the Seat In Front of Them – 24 Votes
7. Pulling on the Seat In Front of Them To Get Up – 25 Votes
6. Window Shade Raised the Entire Red Eye Flight – 32 Votes
5. Light on for No Reason – 37 Votes
4. Excessive Body Odor – 56 Votes
3. Talking Loudly, Especially on Red Eye Flight – 58 Votes
2. Taking Both Armrests – 61 Votes
1. Not Even Attempting to Control your Children – 110 Votes



All of my pet peeves made the top 10, I guess that makes me feel a little bit less like a jerk :).

It is interesting that uncontrolled children ran away with it.  I do hate when a child kicks the back of my seat and nothing is said though.  Kids will be kids, but you need to at least put an effort forth to control them.


This was a fun experiment.  While the results are not very scientific I do think this list is a pretty solid representation of what a more thorough research project would produce.

I would say a majority of these only require you to use common sense and common courtesy towards your fellow passengers.  This isn’t your house and that seat is not your couch.  If you act with common decency then most of these issues will never arise.

To keep the fun going let me know which one of the top 10 travel pet peeves bothers you the most, which one the least, and what did we miss?


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I like the list, although I tend to rate annoyances by the frequency by which they occur. My seat gets pulled from behind (#7 on the list) on 90+% of my flights, which ranks it higher to me than worse behavior that happens much less frequently.

  2. I once spent a ten hour flight to the Caribbean with a kid kicking my seat. Tbh it was a shocking airline with non functioning toilets, lazy attendants and a non functioning screen. Won’t ever fly that airline again. I genuinely think there is an argument for a non kids airline though, if it’s good enough for hotels, it’s good enough for an airline. Now if only I could find someone to capitalise my business idea..


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