Why My Friends Detest Air Travel 🙁
It upsets me that my friends detest air travel. This is my industry and I’m proud to be in the industry, but I understand where they are coming from having witnessed almost all they complain about in this post. Even my friend Mike at Bemused Backpacker (he and I argue airlines all the time) has some great points in his article about “The 10 Most Annoying Thing About Flying.”
I travel a lot!
To date, I’ve flown 179 airlines and been to 124 countries. So far this year (2019), I’ve flown 12 different airlines and visited twelve countries so I get around quite a bit and I see and observe a lot. Even the airlines that are termed the best, breakdown when things go wrong. You are told to call one office and when you do after holding for what seems like forever, you are then told to contact another who then tells you to contact the one you spoke with first. No one seems to want to own and fix the issue.
Plus the automated phone lines that can’t understand you as the airport from which you are calling is quite noisy and then the system hangs up on you as it doesn’t understand you.
Or the outsourced reservations agents designed to save money, but won’t go beyond the script they are given at training. Oh wait, these are not my reason’s why air travel is stressful, it’s my friends’ sorry :-). Let me get back on track.
While air travel is fun for me most of the time as I understand it; although sometimes its a pain in the royal, I know that it is difficult and can be quite stressful for others.
So, in an effort to understand the frustrations of my friends I asked this question:
What’s the number 1 most annoying thing for you?”
The responses were so overwhelming and similar to what I’ve heard and seen myself during my travels, I decided to create this post with the information from the post.
I’m just going to guess that you have similar issues as well. Let’s take a look at the things that are frustrating my friends when they travel. As much as they make sense, the comments are verbatim. Oh, they are not in any kind of order, but I’ve tried to put similar ones together and added necessary commentary.
Feel free to add yours in the comments below:
Personal Hygiene During Air Travel
People, please prepare yourselves for travel. I’ve been on several flights and sat next to people who have not paid attention to their personal hygiene. It’s not a fun flight at all.
1. People who don’t take showers before flight … in some case , never 🙂
2. Stinky people
3. Smelly people!
It looks like most of the issues happens on the planes. The poor flight attendants and sometimes pilots have to play Police onboard to keep sanity and order.
4. Worrying that there will be no overhead space left when you board because there’s never enough space for everyone if it’s a full flight — and worrying that they’ll force you to check a bag full of electronics.
5. The long wait when the planes arrive at the gate and you try to stand up awkwardly because it’s too low.
6. Air sickness 🤢
Seems like reclining is an issue, four comment on it. I wrote a post about the etiquette of reclining:
7. People who recline
8. People who recline their seats.
9. People who recline their seats.
11. I thoroughly detest the airlines reducing passenger space to unbearable dimensions.
12. Cramped seats.
13. As a 6’4” the legroom is a discriminatory issue. Once upon a time Emergency exit seats were issued to people who needed them. I am not asking for more just equal comfort to those who are shorter than 6’ who can leave a flight without deep indentations in the knee regions. Today they are sold at premium (sometimes doubling the fare) to people who often do not speak English (and thereby have a hard time following instructions… in case of). Is it fair to increase the risk of blood clots and deep-vain thrombosis just because one is tall (but not wide)?
14. When you’re on an international flight (as an average height person) and your knees touch the back of the seat in front of you and the airline steels the tiny amount of legroom with some f’ing control box under the seat in front of you.
15. People who stick their carry on bag over a seat in row 10 when they’re seated in row 19, and hold up everyone behind them because their bag really doesn’t fit overhead.
16. Finding a spot for my small bag in the overhead compartment because virtually no one checks a bag anymore.
17. YES!! Because apparently cabin crew will allow people with a 65 litre hard suitcase, 15 bags of duty free, a massive box of unknown stuff they are hoiking to their new destination and 12 coats on as carry on! 🤬
18. I detest adults taking up half of the seat I paid for.
19. I detest people who carry on phone calls loud enough for the entire plane to hear.
20. I detest people who won’t turn off their electronics when asked, sometimes even after 2 or 3 requests.
21. I detest passengers who board late and don’t check their bags, yet wind up checking them as all the overhead space is gone. Thus holding up the flight for 10 minutes or more!
22. I hate it when someone uses my seat to pull themselves up when they get up. Don’t touch MY seat 💺!
23. I detest rude flight attendants who are riding the clock until retirement.
24. passengers doing personal hygiene at their seat… ewe, just ewe….
25. I detest the unsavory foods served on most Airlines.
Traveling With Children
The kicking the seat thing is really annoying parents, please control the children.
26. Crying children
27. Just one?? Crying babies.
28. People (adults and kids) who constantly kick the back of your seat. I had that through an 11 hour night flight recently. Not fun!
29. and the parents who don’t stop the kids from doing it. Saw it in motion only three days ago.
30. Children and adults kicking my seat from the back!
kicking the back of my seat.
31. I detest kids kicking my seat.
32. delays and screaming children
33. Very timely question since this happened yesterday. People who disturb someone wearing noise canceling headphones and reading (by repeatedly waving their hands in front of my face) to ask if they would like to swap seats and then get upset with me when I refuse
34. Folks who get mad when you refuse to switch seats with them.
35. TSA [the department in the U.S. that handles airport security]
36. TSA….all the way
37. Security – A necessary evil.
38. long security lines.
39. Unfortunately security. Puts a damper on travel. Necessary evil!
40. People that stand around twiddling their thumbs in the line for security, then take 20 minutes to take off their 75 layers, belt and all the other things you shouldn’t wear when you fly when they actually reach the conveyor belt.
41. The water policy (also for connecting flights) . Sometimes they make you throw away the bottles you just bought INSIDE the terminal and paid like 4$ each to buy them again after the millionth security check. I’m usually calm but when it happens it’s better for people to keep a safety distance from me.
The next two are pretty amazing. I get it sometimes, but I’ve literally gotten on a bus to go less than 100 yards. It was totally ludicrous. It took longer to wait and board the bus than it took to get to where were were dropped off. I don’t get it. Do you?
There seems to be a distrust between the airlines and the passengers. I’ve seen this as the computers says one thing and the agents says another and what’s really happening doesn’t match either. I’ve also wrote about the reasons why flights are delayed as well.
42. Having to take a bus to your aircraft.
43. Yep. Don’t know what’s worse – the 10-minute bus rides, or the 20-second ones that you easily could walk if they would let you.
44. Lack of true information when something goes sideways and your flight is delayed.
45. And the way all airlines are allowed to get away with a LOT in the way they treat customers. (Ie lying about what care and compensation pax are entitled to)
46. When airlines lie about the reasons that lead to cancelling flights.
47. Having to deal with contradictory instructions from people within the same company.
48. It’s annoying when the flight crew doesn’t keep you updated about delays or problems with the plane.
49. Tarmac delays
50. good one! Especially when the air conditioning isn’t working.
51. Poor/mean/disrespectful flight crew/gate crew
52. How you get treated like you do not matter at all. it amazes me just the lack of basic empathy towards passengers.
53. Connections. At DFW. Arrived on eagle so gate A1 almost an hour late. Departing from a mid C gate ten minutes later. Asked the eagle flight attendant to call my gate to say I’m on way and was told “we can’t do that we have a schedule to maintain.” What about your schedule that let me land an hour late?
Thus endeth my rant
54. when traveling as nonrev (airline staff/employee) being mis- treated by coworkers. never understand.
You, airports, are not exempt from the air travel experience as some things you do are solely to make money. Take the fact that you removed all the moving walkways in certain airports so that you can get shops in so you can make money from the concessions.
How do you expect people who need a little extra time to get to the gates. Don’t say the carts as they don’t work well as the system is geared at how much tip you can make it seems. Taking a tip from someone who is less mobile is just plane wrong. Just saying… The agencies just need to pay the workers properly.
55. Airports (I know quite a bit of this comes from the UK experience) but they are simply an exercise in seeing how much money they can extract from each ‘customer’. From charges to pick up/drop off, having to pay for express security, expensive food and drink, they are just awful places. Outside of Europe though I know its different… Changi Airport for example was amazing.
Basic Economy Fare
I understand why the airlines have done this, however, it’s no excuse to treat these customers with such disdain. My new post sheds light on what I’ve seen buying a Basic Economy fare on American, Delta and United.
56. Basic economy nonsense!
I don’t participate as I look specifically for main cabin, but many of our guests mistakenly take face values of these tickets and run! Absolutely nothing other than your personal bag. Need to cancel? Sorry use it or lose it. Seat? Yea, right. Bump you if oversold. Quite restrictive and sad to see the legacy’s go this way. Especially international!
57. it’s a pain in the ass for employees too.
General Comments About Air Travel
Some people just wanted to rant about the travel experience overall, so here are some additional comments.
58. I now support the passenger’s bill of rights. The minimum level of service now needs to be quantified. Unfortunately.
All the lines. I don’t mind flights but all the bs around the actual flying is tiring
Firstly the carbon footprint!
59. Groups standing in the middle of the way of a busy thoroughfare.
60. People who try to enter the subway/train/elevators before I can exit.
61. People who have no self awareness at all.
62. Ridiculous visa requirements/situations.
63. The air part of air travel is annoying. Airplanes and airports.
64. Everything between leaving my door and arriving at my hotel. I still fly regularly out of convenience. I just don’t like anything about it other than that aspect.
65. Am I allowed to say Everything? There is nothing good about the entire experience other than arriving at the destination.
What about flying with kids, I asked.
66. I haven’t ever flown with the kids. The idea is way too stressful to me when combined with the insane stress that flying already produces.
Seriously, other than getting to a destination relatively quickly (usually), I can’t think of anything positive to say about the entire experience of flying between leaving my house and getting to the destination.
67. Getting charged 7x more than locals.
68. Hawkers in front of restaurants, especially those who physically touch/grab me.
69. Taxi drivers in general.
70. Police in general.
So what say you? What’s your number 1 most annoying thing about air travel? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.