Airport Health & Wellness In-Flight Experience Travel Etiquette

The One Thing That Outrages the Passenger in the Seat Next to You

A new study shows that flyers would rather switch seats than endure this outrage from their fellow passengers.

Stinky seatmates. That’s what a new study polling air travelers finds to be the number one gripe passengers have with their fellow flyers.

Beside bad b.o., senior research methodologists at Qualtrics note in their Airline Pain Index that passengers’ remaining top fellow-passenger complaints are someone kicking their seat from behind and over-boozed seatmates. Surprisingly, one out of three passengers don’t mind sitting next to a jabbermouth throughout the flight. And lastly, one of two flyers will accommodate a fellow passenger’s request to switch seats.

These last two findings inspire the idea that travelers still have a heart for their fellow passengers—or that they save their rage for the airlines. The study concludes that passengers are overwhelmingly incensed by lost luggage, hidden airline fees, and canceled flights. Interestingly, they’re least peeved by delayed flights.

Travelers: take a shower before heading to the airport. The airline industry, however, will need to do a lot more to clean up its act.

Patricia Magaña opts to be the blissfully buzzed passenger rather than the stinky seatmate. Feel free to chat her up on the next flight, or follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels or Twitter, also @PatiTravel, for more travel everything.

By Patricia Magaña

Always on the lookout for value-oriented travel, Senior Editor Patricia Magaña has trekked throughout the States, Latin America, and Europe. Follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels.

Since joining the editorial crew in 2005, Magaña has pounced on incredible deals to Amsterdam, Madrid, and San Pedro Sula—each for less than $300. Her favorite travel experiences involve discovering street art while meandering a city, chatting up locals, and day drinking.

Her stories have appeared on USA Today, Huffington Post, Yahoo!, TripAdvisor, AirfareWatchdog, and other publications.

Email Patricia at