• AirlineRatings.com recently surveyed its readers to find out which types of passengers people find most annoying on a plane.
  • Of the more than 5,300 people who responded to the survey, 78% found people who smell bad to be the worst passengers to be around.
  • Other types of passengers to make the top 10 include out-of-control kids and people who bring too many carry-on bags.


As the summer travel season heats up, about 246 million people in the US will take to the skies over the next few months.

And as airports and flights become more crowded, there will inevitably be travellers whose etiquette is less than ideal.

To get a better idea of what things annoy passengers the most, AirlineRatings.com polled more than 5,300 of its readers to find out.

On Thursday, the Australian airline safety and product rating website released the results of its survey. And the winner is ... people who smell bad. AirlineRatings asked respondents to rank the types of passengers that they found to be the most irritating and "smelly people" was a top response for a whopping 78% of those polled.

According to Geoffrey Thomas, the website's editor in chief, the level of frustration people have with malodorous fellow travellers is indicative of a decline in passenger hygiene standards and the challenges created by modern technology.

"There has been a significant shift in passengers' gripes about their fellow travellers, who are either not conscious of their odour or don’t care," Thomas said in a report on the survey's findings.

"With online or cellphone check-in now widespread, offending passengers are slipping through the traditional checks and only coming into contact with airline agents at the boarding gate. The agents, under pressure to get the flight away, let offenders slip through."

Other passenger types that respondents found annoying include out-of-control children, people who recline their seats, those who hog the armrests, and people who bring too many carry-ons.

Here's a closer look at the 10 worst types of passengers on a plane, according to the readers of AirlinesRatings.com:

10. Window hogger: 39%.

9. High and mighty passengers: 42%.

8. Exercise in the aisles: 45%.

7. The chatterbox: 48%.

6. Weak bladder: 50%.

5. Too many carry-ons: 55%.

4. Armrest hogger: 60%.

3. Seat recliner: 65%.

2. Out-of-control kids: 69%.

1. Smelly passengers: 78%

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