These Are the Worst Things You Can Do on a Plane

This story is part of a new Yahoo Travel series, #StressFreeTravel, dedicated to making travel better in every way possible.

We look forward to the holiday season all year long. But one plane ride can turn us from Cindy Lou Who into the Grinch.

So what is it about holiday travel that gets us so stressed out?

For answers, Yahoo Travel conducted a survey to uncover the causes of holiday travel stress. We talked to 2,760 adults, 1,000 of whom will be traveling in December, and asked them where the holiday tension comes from. Specifically, we wanted to know what other people do on planes that makes the experience so horrible.


Can you smell that smell? (Photo: iStock)

According to the results, the biggest faux pas other passengers commit is being stinky. That’s right, 82 percent of survey respondents said that sitting on a plane next to someone with foul body odor is enough to put them in a foul mood.

Related: The Most Annoying Travel Pet Peeves Ever!

If smell isn’t an issue, then space definitely is. Eighty-one percent of people said the most aggravating part of flying is other passengers not respecting their personal space. We can all relate to sitting next to the guy who bogarts the armrest. C’mon, buddy, how big is your elbow?!

Not only is it annoying, but we predict it’s one of the reasons people keep getting in fights on planes.


Someone invading your space on a plane can quickly get you out of the holiday spirit. (Photo: iStock)

Rounding out the top three is an annoyance that seems to be on the rise. According to 77 percent of respondents, a passenger playing music loudly is enough to make them feel like a scrooge. Even with headphones, many people crank the volume up so high that you can hear what they’re listening to. Sure, we all want to listen to Adele’s new album — but on our own terms.

While they weren’t leading causes, the survey also pointed at passengers getting drunk, talking too loudly, and picking their noses as annoying behavior. As one might expect, crying babies also made the list.

The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18-plus).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Fieldwork was undertaken between Dec. 2 and 4, 2015.

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