Travelers Biggest Pet Peeves

Poor hygiene, oversized carry-on luggage, and bickering families are among the top travel annoyances for Americans.

Travelocity asked approximately 1,000 U.S. travelers about the bad travel behaviors that irk them the most. It seems many Americans don’t mind plane conversation: Chatty passengers only received 5% of the vote for most disliked passengers. Actually, the least-favorite people to sit next to on a plane are passengers with poor hygiene (44%), coughing or sneezing passengers (31%), and large passengers (15%).

More than 80% of respondents think large passengers should be in two seats. However, many (40%) don’t think the large passenger should have to pay for the extra seat.

What’s the most irritating on-board behavior? For more than half (56%) of respondents, loud talking or swearing is the worst, followed by kicking the seat (50%). The most annoying travelers to encounter are arguing families (31%), boisterous kids (28%), and rowdy college students (24%), according to Travelocity’s poll.

When boarding a plane, the guy with the overstuffed suitcase as a carry-on tops the list of irritations (29% of respondents agreed), followed by passengers that block the aisle (22%). When de-boarding the plane, passengers who rush to get off the plane before those ahead of them are the most annoying (59% agreed).

Noisy children are a classic complaint when traveling, but people traveling without children are twice as likely to be bothered by them as those traveling with children (30% verse 15%). When encountering misbehaving children, most people just ignore it (44%) or avoid them (23%).

The full results of the 2009 Rudeness Poll are available here.