Chatty seatmates. Grimy hotel rooms. Unnecessary fees.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Last month, Expedia.com released its 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study, and the findings are chock-full of all-too-relatable grievances like these. The annual survey includes insights from more than 18,000 people, griping about everything from in-flight hanky panky to smelly bare feet.
These travelers know what can go wrong because they’ve lived it...likely more than a couple of times. According to Expedia’s findings, the average respondent took five flights and spent an average of 14 nights in a hotel last year.
Discover 12 of the most common annoyances travelers encounter. And get ready to commiserate.
Expedia travelers agree: There’s nothing worse than settling in to your seat on an airplane, only to realize that you’re in the trajectory of a seat kicker. In fact, this is the fourth year in a row that respondents reported that a passenger who is constantly kicking, grabbing or bumping their seat is the single most annoying thing about flying.
Don’t despair if this happens to you on your next flight, though. Expedia’s latest survey proves there’s no reason to suffer in silence — 62 percent of travelers said that they have or would contact airline staff about the passenger’s disruptive behavior.
When it comes to footwear while flying, it appears travelers have some strong opinions. More than 90 percent of Expedia respondents believe it’s unacceptable to go barefoot during a flight.
Happily, this isn’t a super-common occurrence, at least in the U.S.: Nearly 75 percent of Americans always keep their shoes and socks on when traveling (though one does wonder about the remaining 25 percent...).
Travelers also agreed that you should never prop your feet up on the seat in front of you.
Mile High Club Membership
While the allure of a covert rendezvous in the sky may appeal to some, most Americans aren't interested in membership to the notorious Mile High Club. Nearly 73 percent of U.S. travelers said they would never be sexually intimate with a partner or someone they just met while on an airplane.
Once on the ground though, travelers admitted they were much more likely to get busy. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed copped to booking a hotel room just to hook up, and another 10 percent said that they’ve purchased an adult movie from their hotel’s pay-per-view.
Chatty Plane Passengers
Many of the travelers that Expedia surveyed prefer to keep to themselves while on a trip. Nearly 90 percent of Americans said that they want to be left alone while on a flight, and 77 percent said they dread being seated next to someone who talks too much.
Once travelers arrive at their destination, the isolationism continues. Almost 66 percent of people said that they always or frequently use the privacy indicator on their hotel room door to keep staff away during their stay.
Loud Hotel Neighbors
In-room revelers, hallway hellraisers, raucous revelers, party-goers and bar boozers were all called out in the survey for making hotel stays obnoxiously noisy. A considerable amount of people also complained about the, ahem, loudly amorous, as well as hot tub canoodlers.
Moral of the story? When staying in a hotel, remember that everyone else can hear you.
Dirty Hotel Rooms
According to Expedia, nothing makes travelers cringe more than finding bed bugs, a used condom, cigarette smoke or another foul smell when checking into a hotel room. In fact, dirty surroundings were the number one reason that travelers say they request a change in room.
But when it comes to less obvious messes, it seems many travelers adopt the mantra of ignorance is bliss. More than half of respondents admitted that they rarely or never sanitize hotel room items like the phone or TV remote. Just as many said they’re leaving the shower shoes at home these days and braving the bathroom barefoot.
If you love to snooze on a plane, be prepared for some interruptions from your fellow passengers. Of those Expedia surveyed, 54 percent said they believe it’s perfectly fine to wake a snoring seatmate.
Also be wary if you’re seated in the middle or aisle seats. Most passengers said they wouldn’t think twice before waking a sleeping passenger and asking them to move so they can get by. Another 20 percent (who prefer to avoid confrontation) think it’s perfectly fine to climb over a sleeping passenger to get out of your seat.
Family travel can be difficult — but Expedia respondents expressed little sympathy for parents unable to keep their kids in check. More than 45 percent of respondents complained about absentee adults. Because let’s be honest — no one wants to be parenting someone else’s children on their vacation.
It’s no surprise that problematic parents also topped the list of in-air complaints. Moms and dads who aren’t taking care of their kids ranked third on the list of “airplane violators.”
As airlines try to keep flight prices down, fees for extras like in-flight internet access and premium seats continue to go up. This year, Expedia found that travelers are largely unlikely to shell out for paid upgrades to their flight. For example, only one in four travelers said they would pony up to upgrade their seat; even fewer were willing to pay for Wi-Fi.
While there are all sorts of things travelers do in an attempt to avoid additional fees, Expedia found that overstuffing a carry-on or personal item is the most common behavior. Americans are more likely to try to avoid checked baggage than travelers from any other country.
When you settle in for a flight, is your first move to recline your seat? Expedia found that if you do, it’s likely for one of two reasons: the flight is three hours or longer, or you’re trying to go to sleep.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone is on board with this behavior. Twenty-five percent of Americans said they believe the practice is rude to other passengers and never recline their seats. The survey also found that Europeans are more likely than other travelers to request that fellow passengers return their seat to its upright position.
It should come as no surprise that it’s increasingly important for modern travelers to stay connected even when on vacation. And though it can be hard to guarantee a reliable cell signal while on the road, travelers expect functioning internet from their hotel accommodations.
Whether it’s complimentary or available at an added cost, 82 percent of Americans reported that Wi-Fi is the most important hotel amenity. (Everyone also knows that not having Wi-Fi, or having it fail, is a recipe for a meltdown.)
It doesn’t take long to overwhelm your senses on a cramped flight. So while seat kicking was listed as the number one in-flight offense, travelers also identified unpleasant smells, including too much perfume, and sounds, like loud talking, as reasons for a ruined flight.
A robust 43 percent of respondents identified stinky seatmates as an annoyance, while just under a third of travelers complained about passengers with no volume control.