Flight attendants have seen it all. From the mildly annoying to the downright outrageous, their patience is often tested by a variety of passenger behaviours. Here, we delve into the 30 habits that flight attendants wish passengers would leave on the ground.

Here are the top 30 annoying passenger habits according to flight attendants:

Annoying passengers according to Flight Attendants

1. The Excessive Call Button Presser

Pressing the call button excessively or for non-emergencies can be very annoying for the flight attendants. Use the call button sparingly and only when necessary.

2. The Overhead Bin Hogger

One of the most common irritants for flight attendants is passengers who hog the overhead bins. These individuals stow all their belongings above, leaving no room for others and causing unnecessary delays. Remember, the overhead bins are shared space, so be considerate.

3. The Non-Greeter

A simple ‘hello’ can go a long way. Flight attendants appreciate passengers who acknowledge them upon boarding. It’s a small gesture, but it sets a positive tone for the flight.

4. The Poorly Timed Trash Disposer

Passengers who attempt to hand over their rubbish while the crew is serving food or drinks can be a nuisance. Timing is everything, so hold onto your trash until the crew comes around to collect it.

5. The Feet-on-Walls Offender

Planes are not homes. Putting your feet on the walls or other passenger’s seats is not only disrespectful but also unsanitary. Keep your feet on the floor where they belong.

6. The Unprepared Coffee Drinker

When ordering coffee, specify how you take it. It saves time and ensures you get your coffee just the way you like it.

7. The Lavatory Loiterer

Occupying the toilets while the aircraft is descending can lead to flight delays. Use the lavatory before the seatbelt sign comes on to avoid inconveniencing everyone on board.

8. The Entitled Upgrader

Trying to sneak into an upgraded seat without paying for it is not only unfair to those who have paid extra, but it also creates additional work for the flight crew. Stick to your assigned seat.

9. The Smelly Feet Exposer

Bad smells can be particularly noticeable in the confined space of an airplane. Passengers who remove their shoes and expose their smelly feet can make the flight very uncomfortable for those around them.

Passenger putting their smelly feet on the headrest during a flight.
mildlyinfuriating | Reddit

“The air vent was blasting and wofted the scent through the plane”

10. The Finger Snapper

Snapping your fingers to get a flight attendant’s attention is rude. A simple “excuse me” works every time.

11. The Galley Yogi

The galley is not a yoga studio. It’s a workspace for the crew. Stretching or loitering in this area can disrupt the crew’s duties.

12. The Aisle Blocker

Passengers who linger in the aisle during boarding or disembarking slow down the process for everyone. Be mindful of others and keep the aisle clear.

13. The Loud Talker

Loud conversations, especially during quiet times, can disturb other passengers. Keep your voice down to maintain a peaceful environment for all.

14. The Inattentive Parent

Parents who let their children run amok in the plane create a stressful environment for everyone, including the flight crew. Keep an eye on your little ones to ensure a pleasant flight for all.

15. The Constant Complainer

Constant complaining about the flight, the service, or other passengers can be draining for the flight attendants. If you have a genuine issue, address it politely and patiently.

16. The Excessive Drinker

Excessive drinking can lead to unruly behaviour, which is a headache for flight attendants. Enjoy your drinks, but know your limits.

Drunk passengers on plane.
Dierks Bentley: Drunk on a Plane

17. The Frequent Bathroom Visitor

Frequent visits to the bathroom, especially during meal service or turbulence, can be disruptive. Plan your bathroom visits wisely.

18. The Meal Tray Misuser

Using the fold-down tray as a footrest or changing table is a big no-no. It’s unsanitary and disrespectful to other passengers who will use the tray for eating.

19. The Window Shade Ignorer

Ignoring cabin crew instructions about window shades during take-off, landing, or when the cabin lights are dimmed is not only annoying but can also be a safety issue. Follow the crew’s instructions at all times.

20. The Personal Space Invader

Encroaching on a fellow passenger’s space, be it by spreading out, hogging the armrest, or reclining without notice, is one of the most common complaints. Respect the personal space of others.

Airline annoying passengers.

21. The Incessant Chatterbox

While friendly conversation is appreciated, non-stop talking, especially when the other party is clearly uninterested or trying to rest, can be very annoying. Be mindful of social cues and respect others’ need for quiet.

22. The Tech Rule Breaker

Ignoring instructions to switch electronic devices to airplane mode or turn them off when required is not only annoying but also a safety risk. Always follow the crew’s instructions regarding electronic devices.

23. The Impatient Stand-Up

Standing up to retrieve bags or disembark before the seatbelt sign is turned off is not only annoying but also a safety risk. Always wait for the appropriate signal before standing up.

24. The Excessive Perfume Wearer

Wearing strong perfume in the confined space of an airplane can be overwhelming for fellow passengers and crew. Opt for minimal or no fragrance when flying.

25. The Irresponsible Belongings Owner

Passengers who bring heavy carry-on luggage on board and then expect the flight attendants to hoist it into the overhead bin for them can be a real nuisance. If your luggage is too heavy for you to lift, it’s probably too heavy for the cabin crew as well. Be responsible for your own belongings.

26. The Rowdy Party Group

Flight attendants often have to deal with rowdy groups, especially those on stag or hen parties. These groups can cause a lot of noise and disruption, and their antics can escalate to inappropriate levels, such as flashing at the pilot!

27. The Public Display of Affection (PDA) Couple

While it’s lovely to see people in love, a plane is not the place for excessive public displays of affection. Couples who spend the entire flight kissing can be a source of annoyance for their fellow passengers.

28. The Nose Picker

Hygiene is important, especially in the confined space of an airplane. Passengers who pick their nose and then wipe it on the seat are not only disgusting but also a health hazard.

29. The Spitter

Spitting is considered bad manners in most cultures, and it’s certainly not acceptable on a plane. Yet, there have been instances of passengers spitting into a cup throughout a flight, much to the disgust of those around them.

30. The Separated Family

Families who are separated on a flight but continue to pass items back and forth across other passengers can be a source of annoyance. It’s better to arrange seating in advance to avoid this situation.


Flying can be a pleasant experience when everyone respects each other’s space and behaves appropriately. However, as this list shows, there are many behaviours that can turn a flight into a nightmare for both passengers and flight attendants. By being aware of these behaviours, we can all contribute to a more enjoyable flight experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who are disruptive passengers?

Disruptive passengers are individuals who fail to respect the rules of conduct at an airport or on board an aircraft or to follow the instructions of the airport staff or crew members. Their behaviour can cause discomfort, annoyance, or even danger to other passengers and crew.

2. Which airline has had the most unruly passengers?

According to a Department of Transportation report, American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, Texas, had the most passenger complaints of all U.S. air carriers, receiving 3,186 passenger complaints between January and June 2022. The complaints included everything from flight cancellations and delays, to refunds and baggage issues.

3. What are some common problems airline passengers have?

Common problems airline passengers face include flight delays or cancellations, lost or damaged luggage, issues with seat assignments, difficulty in obtaining refunds or handling overbookings, and dealing with disruptive or unruly co-passengers.

4. Why are there so many unruly passengers on planes?

There can be many reasons for unruly behaviour on planes. Some passengers may be anxious or stressed about flying, while others may consume too much alcohol. Lack of sleep, tight seating arrangements, and long flights can also contribute to frustration and unruly behaviour.

5. What is the most annoying passengers on a plane according to a new survey?

According to a recent survey, the top three most annoying passengers on flights are:

  1. Passengers who kick the seat (59.11% of respondents found this annoying)
  2. Passengers who get drunk and unruly (59.11% of respondents found this annoying)
  3. Passengers who smell bad or wear too much cologne (48% of respondents found this annoying)
  4. Other annoying behaviours included negligent parenting, eating strong-smelling foods, hogging the armrest, reclining the seat all the way, talking too much, boarding or deplaning out of turn, and having headphones turned up too loud.

6. What passengers ought not to do on planes?

Passengers should avoid behaviours that can disrupt the comfort and safety of others. This includes excessive drinking, ignoring safety instructions, being disrespectful to flight attendants or other passengers, hogging overhead bin space, playing loud music, and encroaching on the space of others. It’s important to be considerate and respectful to ensure a pleasant flight for everyone.