#ShamelessPassengers: The not so obvious passenger pet peeves


Travelling long distances can be a real drag. It can be even worse when shameless passengers on the flight assail your comfort and peace.

There exists an unspoken social code that most people quietly observe - like being sure to use headphones when watching videos or listening to music, or not slapping people in the face with your backpack every time you turn to the side by holding your carry-on in your hand.

However, there are tons of other things that people do without realising they’re making a nuisance of themselves. Here are some of those mid-flight mistakes you don’t even know you’re making. 

SEE: Are you b(o)eing a plane rude passenger? 10 things to consider

Small talk:

Yes, we know that sitting next to someone for the next 15-hours without getting to know their name, at least, is strange to you but the reality is that some people truly just want to be left alone when in transit. So say hello and flash a smile but you really don’t need to strike up a conversation with someone unless it’s clearly appreciated. 

Air conditioning anarchy:

The air is stuffy and sometimes humid so the temptation to make use of the air conditioning is completely understandable. They’re there for a reason right? Wrong.

Unless you’re flying at ground level across the Sahara desert it probably isn’t that hot in the cabin so chill with the air conditioning. It seems like it should be a simple thing to use but often it ends up being an unsolicited, cold stream of air being directed at your neighbour. 

WATCH: Passenger screaming 'I am God' tries to open cabin door mid-flight

Reclining seats:

Very controversial. Reclining seats, just like air conditioning are default features on most airlines these days, but should you make use of them?

Many people are not so sure, and you may not even realise that this debate is even ongoing. There is a large segment of the travelling population that feels like you should not make use of them in anything but long-haul flights. You may not realise it but reclining your seat sets off a chain reaction of seats reclining and drinks spilling, food trays dropping, legs being squashed and faces being bumped. So think ahead before you slam your seat backwards.  

Feet nudism in general:

We get it. You want to be comfortable and relaxed on the flight but you may not be aware of just how averse people can be to feet. Additionally, what may not smell bad to you may be pungent and offensive to others. Keep the socks on or keep the feet out of sight. 

SEE: #PassengerShaming 2018: Food-tray foot wars turns into feat of a viral twitter thread

Talking to people with headphones or earphones on:

You may think you’re being friendly by starting a conversation but really, you’re just being annoying. If the earphones are in, its because we want to drown out the sounds we don’t want to hear. 

Too frequent bathroom breaks:

So we have to stand up every 30 minutes for you to walk by because you took the dehydration risk way too seriously. Once is fine, twice is acceptable, thrice is tolerable but if you’re going to urinate a fourth time on a domestic flight, security is going to get called.


Not getting your things ready in advance for customs, immigration and other security officials:

This one is pretty straightforward. The longer you take to get your documents, bags and electronics out, the longer this whole process takes for everyone else. You’ve done this before right? 

Asking strangers to watch your stuff for you:

While some may grudgingly oblige to this, no one willingly takes care of a stranger’s belongings. Figure it out, you’re a grown human being. We can not be made to be responsible for your stuff, you’re putting us in an awkward position if things go awry. 

SEE: #ShamelessPassengers: Naked man causes chaos on flight to Alaska 

Bringing hot food of any kind onto the plane:

What happens when you add one part hot food and one part closed, compact space? I’ll tell you that it doesn’t add up to anything good. Sure it may smell delicious to you but the majority of your passengers have no interest in smelling your triple whopper for the next 11 hours. 


The only acceptable place to fart on a plane is when you are walking through first class on your way to your seat. And the lavatory too, I guess. Seriously though, just don’t do it. No matter how natural you feel it is, it’s rude. Respect our right, as fellow passengers, to untainted oxygen.  

Middle seat gets the armrests:

It's an unspoken rule but this is definitely a thing. As the person with the least breathing room and without a window to mindlessly stare out of, middle seat deserves the armrests as compensation. So keep your elbows to yourself, buddy. 

SEE: #WheresMyWindow? Passengers who thought they'd booked a window seat unimpressed!

Letting kids mess with you:

It can't be helped if a baby is crying or throwing a tantrum so don't be obnoxious about that, but if a toddler is kicking into your back constantly and the parents aren't doing anything about it, then you have every right to let it be known that he or she needs to chill.

Waking people up to tell them that the food or drinks cart is on the way:

Not cool. We know you think you’re doing the right thing, the admirable thing but you aren’t. Its hard enough to fall asleep on a plane without washing 4 Benadryls down with whiskey, so we really don’t need some Johnny Do Good waking us up.

What if we’ve already eaten? What if we don’t want to eat the terrible English breakfast 8000 ft in the air at 22:00? Leave us alone, we want to sleep more than we want to eat! 

SEE: Passenger Nightmares: Being served a meal that expired 10 years ago!?

Grabbing the headrest of the seat in front of you when you stand up:

Big mistake. Seemingly innocent mistake to make, right? Fair enough. Just don’t do it in future. We don’t need our heads being ripped backwards all of a sudden because you lack core strength. 

Getting too lit:

You’re not cute or charming, you’re just too drunk to see that people are not smiling with you. Chill with the sauce. Alcohol becomes twice as effective at high altitudes so take it easy.  

SEE:Drunk booze-smuggler'causes flight diversion! But how much alcohol can you actually take on board?

Talking loudly:

Nobody is trying to hear your life story. Nobody. We don’t need to know that the deal was successful, or what Jenna said, or that grandma died or anything else. Keep your voice down.  

Being sickly or having a cold:

Well done Mr Sniffles McSneezy, you’ve successfully turned this aircraft into a high-speed illness incubator. The only way you could be more annoying is if you started to vape.    

When you forget your manners when dealing with the flight attendants:

These people literally clean up after you and give you food. They’re basically your parents. Your parents taught you how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ right? 

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