13 Annoying Things We Need to Stop Doing on Planes

year ago

When it comes to riding on a plane, it’s inevitable to run into problems with fellow passengers that can turn your few hours of flying into a living nightmare. However, we have to keep in mind that we are all packed into a confined space that we can’t really escape, and our stress levels are pushed to the limit. That’s why it’s best for all of us to be more considerate of the people around us and stop doing things that might be taken as rude or annoying in order to have a pleasant flight.

Bright Side put together a list of annoying things that people should stop doing while traveling that most of us can’t stand.

13. Putting your feet on the seats, walls, and armrests

There’s nothing more painful than being stuck in a tiny airplane seat for hours without being able to feel comfortable, but that doesn’t excuse anyone from feeling the need to put their feet in someone’s else’s personal bubble. Some people might not realize it, but not only are you invading someone’s personal space, but you’re also making it more difficult for them to move. So, if you’d like to stretch your legs and get out of that painful position, once the seatbelt sign is off, you can just stand up and walk down the aisle to stretch.

12. Turning off the air-conditioning over your seat

During flights, airplanes tend to put their air conditioning systems unbearably low, making us feel like we’re in the Himalayas — but it’s that way for a reason. The low temperatures in the airplane keep bacteria from spreading all around and also prevent you from getting a cold or the flu. When you turn the air-conditioning off above your seat, bacteria find it easier to survive. This poses a danger to you and the people next to you by exposing them to airborne viruses that can no longer be sucked up by the air-conditioner above your seat.

11. Wearing shorts during a flight

Sometimes, people decide to wear shorts during a flight, either because of the hot weather or their destination, but there are several issues with this. To start off, airplanes are not cleaned between flights, and since most germs, mites, and bacteria reside in the chairs, you are exposing your skin and possibly areas of your body to several dangers.

Secondly, when people are crammed into a small space, it can create discomfort because of bad body odor. Even when you shower before a flight, sitting in a chair for long hours can inevitably lead you to sweat, which can result in an unpleasant odor coming from your skin.

10. Falling asleep right before take-off

Falling asleep right before take-off can be inevitable at times. However, that time right before take-off is when everyone gets settled, arranges their baggage and finds their seats. There are many scenarios that might require you to get up, help, or change seats with someone, and no one wants to be in that awkward position of having to wake you up, passengers and flight attendants included.

In addition, right before take-off, flight attendants demonstrate all the safety information you need to know during the flight. And despite the fact that flight emergencies are rare, it’s important for your own safety to know these rules. In addition, it’s disrespectful to the flight attendants who are taking the time to show you what to do in case your life is in danger.

9. Ringing the flight attendant button

Some people, especially first-time travelers, get overexcited about the plane feature that lets you call the flight attendants to your seat so they can cater to all your flight needs. But the button is there in case of an emergency only, like if you aren’t feeling well, the person next to you falls ill, or if the overhead bin has opened during takeoff or landing and you can’t leave your seat, just to name a few.

8. Taking your shoes off

This habit can be irksome for the majority of passengers and almost everyone can attest to it. There are several reasons why it’s not acceptable to take your shoes off during a flight. The most important one is that it’s impolite and disrespectful to your fellow passengers especially when your feet or socks are dirty or stinky.

However, during a flight, because the air pressure is relatively low, it can minorly narrow the blood flow to your feet, especially in older people. Your best bet to deal with this is to wear loosely tied suede shoes in order to keep your feet comfortable without disturbing other passengers.

7. Hogging the overhead bins

It’s only natural for passengers to assume that the overhead storage is their own personal space where they can put all their baggage and small items they need. And to answer the popular question of who the overhead bins belong to, the answer is — well, no one.

Here’s how it goes: The overhead bins don’t really have assigned seats that let you know where to put your carrier bag once everyone is on the plane. That space is for everyone, which is why when all passengers board, the overhead bins become a hunting game of sorts. Keep in mind though, because there is a specific number of things that can fit in the overhead compartments, flight attendants can move things around and put in bigger carrier bags when checking them in.

6. Using the toilet right before take-off

When nature calls, you have to handle it. Everyone has the chance to visit the bathroom at the airport as many times as they need as well as during the boarding period and even after take-off on the plane. Even though there are no specific rules preventing you from using the toilet right before take-off, it’s really dangerous for you to do your business while the plane is on the taxiway. The pilot cannot legally start the plane or take off with someone in the bathroom, so using it during this time can cause delays during the flight.

5. Not wearing a seatbelt

We all know the drill: we have to wear seatbelts on the plane when the seatbelt sign is on, and those who have a fear of flying are a lot more sensitive to the dangers that may occur during the flight — specifically during turbulence. Even if you decide that your seatbelt is not necessary, slight turbulence can cause you to move around in your seat, hurting yourself or other passengers around you. A few years ago, Air Canada had to do an emergency landing in Calgary because of emergency turbulence and 21 passengers were admitted to the hospital because they weren’t wearing seatbelts.

4.Getting into fights with other passengers

It’s normal to feel agitated when you’re stuck in a plane cabin for hours filled with equally agitated people. And even the slightest misunderstanding can cause arguments over the littlest things. There were countless times that planes had to turn back or do emergency landings because passengers were arguing with each other and became physical. There are 2 things all passengers don’t want: noise pollution and stress from being in the middle of a fight or around arguing passengers.

3. Not taking care of your hygiene

Nobody wants to sit next to someone for hours who has really bad body odor, bad breath, or poor personal hygiene in general. And while you might be concerned about being seated next to a person with poor hygiene, you should first take care of yourself. As the old saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and this applies to the littlest things. Always pack some gum with you, wear deodorant, and most importantly, take a shower before your flight.

2. Picking a middle or window seat when you have to make frequent trips to the bathroom

According to a recent survey, people would rather pay a visit to the dentist (which is terrifying) rather than sit in the middle seat on a plane. The middle seat can be stressful because you don’t know how to make yourself feel comfortable. But what’s even more annoying is when someone with a relatively small bladder wants to visit the bathroom every half an hour. If visiting the bathroom is an urgent matter, don’t be shy and ask your neighbor to swap seats for a while so that you won’t have to ask them to move throughout the whole flight. This is the most considerate way to handle it.

1. Doing anything that will disturb fellow passengers

This might be kind of obvious but it’s still worth noting. There are various things that can disturb people and sometimes we might be doing little annoying things that we don’t even realize are bad until someone decides that they’ve had enough and tells us to stop. In order to avoid this confrontation and keep yourself and everyone around you happy, don’t do the following.

  • Don’t start plucking your eyebrows, clipping your nails, or even cleaning out your ears during a flight. There’s a time and place for these things and it’s certainly not in a public space like a flight.
  • Don’t stand up in the aisle to talk to your friend in another seat! People don’t want to eavesdrop on your personal conversations and it might make them uncomfortable.
  • When talking with the passenger next to you, try to talk quietly as some passengers like to spend their time on the plane sleeping.
  • Don’t play loud games on your phone, it’s rude to other passengers.

What’s the thing that you dislike most when flying? We’d love to hear your experiences and personal stories about things that annoyed you while traveling.

Please note: This article was updated in July 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


With some consideration and common sense, these "problems" would not even arise. But unfortunately the world is full of ego-centrics, who demand respect but do not show any. Why can't people just behave themselves for such a short time, it wouldn't kill them????
Hi, I have seen many times that people remove their shoes and even changes clothes in 2 hour flight journey. this is surprising.

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Ok, I thought turning on air conditioning and falling asleep before taking off seemed normal to me..

But do people actually remove their shoes during the flight or put their legs on other's seats???

OMG I didn't even know passengers can be that gross!

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