Airline passengers

Sometimes you don’t realize you’re sitting next to an annoying passenger until you’ve taken off. Source: Shutterstock

FLYING can be stressful enough without the added annoyance of sitting next to someone who annoys the hell out of you.

We’re not talking about a high school archnemesis or a wearer of a “Make America Great Again” cap. We’re talking about the people who forget to leave their annoying habits at home before they board a plane.

You know, the ones who think it’s okay to lash out airline staff when the flight is delayed. Or even worse, the parents who let the rest of the passengers look after their kids.

The netizens of Reddit have some pretty awful stories to tell including a passenger insisting on eating a stinky egg sandwich and others who can’t control their flatulence.

And we’re sure you have a few horror stories of your own.

With anywhere between 20 and 500 passengers on a commercial flight, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a few bothersome flyers on your plane.

But out of all those people, you’d have to be unfortunate to end up next one.

However, a scarier notion is that you could be one of those flyers – the kind that other people dread sitting next to.

Below, we’ve revealed the world’s most irritating passengers to sit next to on a flight. If you’re unsure whether you’re a bother or a pleasure to be around, have a read of our list.

If at any point you think “That’s not so bad, is it?” you’re officially an annoying flyer.


Altitude does weird things to your body and can cause a significant and mostly unexplainable increase in trapped wind.

While this isn’t your fault, it courteous to relieve yourself away from fellow passengers, preferably in a bathroom where the stinking gas will be trapped.


Altitude can also turn you into a locomotive impersonator. Trust us when we say your fellow passengers don’t like locomotives.

Also, snoring with your mouth wide open on an aircraft is terrible news for your immune system as you’re more likely to catch a cold on a plane journey.

The proximity to hundreds of other people and the recycled air flowing through the cabin is a recipe for illness.

Keep that mouth covered!


We agree, having a few complimentary drinks on a flight is an unwritten rule. But know your limits.

These will be different limits to the ones you have on ground as altitude thins your blood and cause you to get drunk quicker.

Apart from embarrassing yourself, you’ll also end up annoying everyone around you and possibly even get chucked off your flight for disorderly behavior.


It’s fine to be excited about your vacation but honestly and sincerely, nobody wants to hear about how cute your cat is for six hours straight.


Armrest hogger

Unless you have the luxury of flying first class, the armrest in economy is one of the only things making your journey a little more bearable.

But if someone takes that comfort away from you and leaves your arms flailing without a purpose, you have every right to be annoyed.

A general rule is that the person in the middle gets both armrests to compensate having the worst seat.

Over spreader

If you take your shoes and socks off on a flight, you’re already an annoying passenger.

But if you spread those tootsies into someone else’s already limited space, you’re just a bad person.

Argument starter

Want a surefire way to get yourself kicked off a flight or arrested on touchdown? Start a fight with someone.

Smelly food eater

Plane food is expensive but that doesn’t give you an excuse to unpack and consume pungent foods.

While it might taste delicious and tide you over until you arrive at your destination, nobody else wants to smell your cheese and onion crisps.

There you have it, the worst people to get stuck next to on a flight.

No doubt you’ve experienced at least one of them, but we hope you aren’t one of them!

Holly Patrick

Holly Patrick | @HollyMaeVogel

As a recent graduate of Journalism from Westminster University, Holly is keen on exploring the stories that hide in the most curious of places. She enjoys discovering new cultures, and has strong opinions about women's rights and how modern technology is influencing the globalized world. She also has a healthy inquisitiveness to find stimulating content… and the best pad thai in town.

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