RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Passengers sound off

27th March 2008 Print
Inconsiderate fellow airline passengers reclining their seats is the number one pet hate amongst UK airline passengers. This is according to a new survey of more than 4000 travellers undertaken by in conjunction with In fact, the overwhelming causes of dissatisfaction when flying, relate largely to the behaviour of fellow passengers.

A whopping 45% of respondents hate it when the person in front reclines their seat. Of these 21% complained about people in the row in front reclining their seats before they had a chance to finish their lunch/dinner, which forced them to stow their tray before they were ready.

There was a general consensus that a reclined seat does allow for more comfort for the passenger in it. However, many respondents felt strongly that, as there was precious little room to manoeuvre, a reclined seat made it almost impossible to enjoy any semblance of comfort and others should be sensitive to this. Conversely, other travellers, though agreeing with their peers about the lack of space issues, felt just as strongly that since they paid for the seat they were entitled to recline as they wish, despite the fact that pull down trays impinge on the people on the seat behind.

A further 25% of respondents, in total, cited a variety of fellow travellers’ bad habits. These ranged from having their space invaded by a fellow passenger’s foot or elbow through to having the back of their seat constantly kicked or pushed forward.

Sharron Livingston from said: “Flying in economy can be stressful. For some unfortunate passengers, however, the experience can be awful especially if, for example, the person sitting in front reclines early on in the flight, or the passenger in the window seat constantly wants to get up. Equally, stress levels may rise if the person behind is kicking their chair when all they want is a snooze. Better designed inflight seating would solve the problem. But until then I think travellers are crying out for some good old fashioned manners during flights – otherwise we could risk an increase in air rage”.

In all, 4028 people responded to the question: “What do you most hate most about flying?” Many took the opportunity to get some deeply-felt complaints off their chests, reeling off a whole menu of grievances, from lack of leg room to stale air-conditioning and popping ears.

There were also complaints which related to onboard service – for example, when the steward(ess) offers you chicken or fish but then tells you that they have run out of your choice (5%). Some were frustrated when their headsets didn’t work (4%) and others were disgruntled that the steward(ess) was grumpy (3%).

There were also complaints about the airport experience: long check-in queues (2%) and inconsistent application of security rules (2%) that left some travellers exasperated.

The in-depth results of this survey can be viewed on is an online travel magazine for people who love travel. is a flight finder search engine helping travellers find the flights to take them from A to B.