Air travel can be pretty terrific — but if you get stuck with one or more of these annoying airplane passengers, it can also be pretty dreadful. In order to come up with the list of personalities and its accompanying infographic, U.K.-based travel site Just The Flight surveyed 5,000 people, tallying up what percentage said they were annoyed by which passenger behaviors. Pro tip: Don't be these people. Seriously. The flight will be miserable for everyone if you magically become one.
However, I feel it's worth noting that a few of the “annoying people” on the infographic may be less about the people themselves and more about the pre-existing biases of the irritated passenger. I notice, for example, that while there's an entry for People That Recline Their Seats, there isn't one for People Who Prevent Other People From Reclining Their Seats, Even Though The Seats Are Designed To Recline In The First Place; furthermore, the People That Encroach On Your Seat entry is really, really sizeist. Not cool.
So I suppose the moral of the story with these personalities is that your mileage may vary depending on your own personal preferences and pet peeves. I'm pretty sure we can all agree, however, that these seven etiquette lessons drawn from the infographic's 21 dreaded airplane personalities are worth following. Check 'em out here, and scroll down to see the full infographic.
1. Stay On Your Personal Hygiene Game
You don't have to look like you're dining in a five-star restaurant; indeed, most of us probably couldn't care less what you're wearing, as long as it's clean. But be mindful of the fact that you're about to be in close proximity to an awful lot of people for an extended amount of time: Take a shower, brush your teeth, put on some deodorant, and please, for the love of all that is holy, do not remove your socks on the plane. Seriously. Don't be That Person Who Subjected An Entire Plane To Hours Of Stinky Feet Smell.
2. Mind Your Children
I don't particularly enjoy crying children on planes, but I realize that it's not really their fault that they're so unhappy — and besides, if it were socially acceptable for adults to wail like banshees after being jammed into a metal tube with scads and scads of strangers, I would probably express my misery in the same way. But the adults who are traveling with the children have a responsibility to, y'know, look after the kids during the flight. While it's true that sometimes kids just need to cry themselves out, you can still do your best to try to make your miserable child as comfortable as possible — and please, please don't let them run around on the plane unattended.
3. Stay In Your Seat Until The Captain Turns Off The “Fasten Seat Belt” Sign
You might have a connection to catch, but jumping up out of your seat and trying to exit the plane before it's even arrived at the gate will just hold things up — making both you and everyone else late, too.
4. Don't Block The Aisle
There is a time and a place to go through your luggage, and while everyone is either trying to board or disembark from the tiny little airplane aisle is not it.
5. Recognize When Your Seatmate Wants To Be Left Alone
And then, y'know, actually leave them alone. If you're chatty and you have a chatty seatmate, awesome! Get to know each other! Make new friends! But if your seatmate is reading a book, working, listening to music, or closing their eyes to nap, take that as a sign that they're not up for a get-to-know-you session right now.
6. Get Drunk If You Like, But Don't Get Drunk All Over Other People
No one wants to have a sleeping drunk stranger drooling on their shoulder for hours on end.
7. Be Courteous
Really, everything comes down to this: Be courteous. You're not just in a public place, after all; you're in a public place that happens to consist of very cramped quarters full of many, many people while you're sailing through the air. Let's all just do our best to be kind to each other while we're on this wacky journey — even if that kindness is just remembering to put on deodorant before you board.