6 Types of Passengers You Don’t Want on Your Flight

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Jessica is a respected contributor to the Sampling America writing team, eloquently sharing tales of adventures across the country and beyond.

Let’s be honest: there are a lot of things that can make a long flight a real pain. Delays due to weather, small seats with no legroom, no space in the overhead bin for your bag… the list goes on and on.

There are already enough problems to deal with without adding in your fellow passengers who, in some cases, can make you wish you never left the ground at all.

Here are some of the people you do not want to meet on even a short flight.

The Over-Recliner

Reclining Passenger on Plane
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Anyone who has ever flown economy class can tell you that if there is one thing that you can’t hope for on a plane, it’s personal space. The reclining feature on the seats could be a good way to get more comfortable… if it didn’t mean that the person in front of you has the option of laying in your lap the whole flight. What could be worse than that, you ask? The over-recliner hanging their hair over the back of their seat and onto your tray table. Yuck.

The Rowdy Kids’ Parent

Rowdy kids on plane
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Notice how we said “the rowdy kids’ parent” here, not the kids themselves. It is understandable that small children might cry or get fussy or bored on a long flight, and we get it. But what we don’t get is how parents can just let their children go wild, like a woman who recently let her kids draw all over the wall of the plane during their flight — and then made a post about how grateful she was for Crayola markers.

The Drunk

Man drinking alcohol on plane
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Worse than out-of-control kids are the adults who act like them. Whether it’s to calm their nerves or just to have a good time, some people think a plane is an appropriate place not just to sample some wine, but to get drunk and cause problems for other passengers. A recent TikTok video shared on Reddit shows a woman causing a delay for the whole flight because she got drunk and proceeded to “freak out” until she was finally escorted off.

The Talker

Man talking to woman on plane
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Some people love chatting with strangers. Others… not so much. If you are hopping on a connecting flight after a long layover or a sleepless night on a red-eye from New York to Austin, Texas, you probably don’t want to talk too much with the person sitting next to you, but sometimes that person just can’t read the room. They want to get to know you, and, more importantly, they want to tell you their entire life story before you reach your destination. It may be time to pull out the soundproof headphones.

The Restless Traveler

Passenger between aisles on plane
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If you like to sit on the aisle, the one passenger that will annoy you the most is the one who can’t sit still. They need to go to the bathroom. They need to stretch their legs. They need to go see if there are any more of those free snacks in the back. And all of these things involve you standing up to let them go past. This is also usually the person who has to stand up as soon as the plane lands to go join the bottleneck in front of the closed door.

The Complainer

Person yelling
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Okay, okay. I know we’ve been complaining this whole article, but no one likes a complainer on an airplane! We’re not talking about someone who has an occasional gripe about getting skipped when they pass out the mid-flight cookies: we’re talking about the people who not only have a problem with everything, but who also have to shout about it. Flying is stressful enough without everyone having to be on edge, wondering if the situation with the passenger yelling at the flight attendant is going to escalate into an emergency landing.


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