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Smelly passengers, seat kickers and out of control kids annoy Australian travellers

December 31, 2013 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email
What ticks us off when we travel? Seat kickers, loud talkers and naughty children top the list of things that annoy Australian travellers. 
A recent survey of more than 1,000 Australians, conducted this week by online flight search and comparison service www.cheapflights.com.au, showed that the list of travel peeves was diverse – but that most people are non-confrontational when annoyed.

Screaming children was by far the most common complaint amongst Australian aircraft passengers, with just under half of all respondents saying it had affected a journey.   Other top complaints included: being stuck on a delayed aircraft on the tarmac, stinky fellow passengers, broken entertainment 250x250systems and snoring seatmates.

While Australians list a variety of travel behaviour gripes from seat kicking to seat reclining, only 30 percent of respondents said they had actually confronted their fellow passengers.  The cheapflights.com.au survey showed that more than half of the respondents suffer in silence.

Nearly 25 percent admitted to seething quietly and doing nothing, with 23 percent saying they suffer in silence and are not bothered; while 16 percent employ ‘subtle’ retaliation tactics like reclining back on the seat kickers.

When it comes to travel perks, more than 60 percent of respondents say they’ve never received one.

For the lucky 40 percent, the most common perks were free drinks, meals or seat upgrades. Almost 7% of Aussies had exchanged phone numbers with a fellow traveller, whilst others reported  meeting their future spouses (3%),  landing new clients (2.4%) or joining the mile high club (2.5%).

The full list of www.cheapflights.com.au survey findings can be found below.   (Survey conducted from 20-25 December 2013 with 1,002 respondents).

What is the most annoying thing a nearby traveller can do on your flight?
Kick your seat – 22.72%
Let children misbehave -16.22%
Talk loudly or incessantly -15.02%
Recline their seat – 10.51%
Yank on your seat back-6.31%
Put feet on your arm rest or into your leg room – 5.81%
Bring smelly food aboard – 4.3%
Not waiting for those in rows ahead to exit first – 4%
Carry excessive hand luggage – 3.7%
Hog the arm rest – 3.7%
Not be organised to exit – 1.7%
Other – 4.5%

When faced with annoying travel behaviours, which of these actions are you likely to take?
Confront the passenger directly – 28.53%
Seethe quietly and do nothing – 25.93%
Let it go/not be bothered – 23.02%
Report the passenger to the flight attendant – 18.12%
Retaliate subtly (eg recline back on seat kicker) – 15.62%
Ask for a new seat -13.51%
Complain to the airline later – 6.11%
Rant on social media – 4.9%
Complain loudly to others about him or her – 4.8%

Which of the following unfortunate travel experiences have happened to you?
Screaming child- 47.65%
Long delay stuck on the tarmac – 32.73%
Smelly fellow passenger – 25.63%
Out of order entertainment system -19.63%
Lost luggage – 19.32%
Snoring neighbour  – 19.22%
Missed connection- 13.71%
Issues with plane bathroom – 11.41%
Broken seat- 9.51%
Drunken seatmate – 9.21%
Sick seatmate – 8.81%
Overly romantic neighbours – 5.01%

Which of the following fortunate travel experiences have happened to you?
None -60%
Bumped to business or first class – 19.52%
Scored a free drink or meal – 18.62%
Got someone’s phone number – 6.6%
Met a future spouse or significant other – 3.00%
Joined the mile high club – 2.5%
Landed a new client – 2.4%
Been inspired to invent a product/start a business – 2.2%
Secured a new job – 1.8%
Other – 1.9%

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