Looking forward to your next vacation? So are we, and we can’t wait for you to go on the next one! While all of us dream of taking that perfect holiday, many of us have had less than ideal experiences on the flights to our holiday destinations. And once in a (hopefully long) while, we cross paths with that annoying inflight neighbour with quirky habits that keep us from enjoying our flight to the fullest – yikes!

Being trapped on a plane with minimal space, we definitely do not want to sit for long hours next to someone who rubs his elbows against ours; the person who constantly kicks the back of our seats when we are sleeping; or that someone who exudes a particularly unpleasant “aroma”.

Recently, Expedia conducted an Airplane Etiquette Study with 1,037 Singaporeans for insights into their most dreaded inflight neighbours. We’ve since collated the findings, and are delighted to share with you the top five airplane etiquette violators, as voted by Singaporeans!


5) The Aromatic

Pic 5

Being trapped for hours on a flight beside the “aromatic” passenger who emits a pungent body odour or uses a strong-smelling perfume or cologne annoys 50 percent of Singaporean travellers. Given that most of us are at the mercy of the airlines’ discretion when it comes to changing seats, it came at little surprise that “The Aromatic” made the top five in the list of Singaporean’s most annoying airplane etiquette violators!


Tip: Always take a shower before your flight and spray on deodorant before boarding. If you are using a perfume or cologne, use it with a light hand as you never know if your neighbour is going to be a big fan of your favourite fragrance or is allergic to perfume.

Tip: No chance to shower? Pop into the loo and use some wet wipes and deodorant. Especially handy between long flights. You feel better and you smell better. In sticky weather, a change of shirt and dry shampoo are additionally helpful.


4) The Boozer

 Pic 4

Enjoying a glass of wine or having a beer on flight is perfectly fine for most. But too much alcohol makes one a nuisance. 5 in 10 Singaporeans voted “The Boozer” – the disruptive passenger who has had too many alcoholic beverages on the flight – as the fourth most annoying airplane etiquette violators. Besides, passengers who have little to no control over their own conduct after overdosing on alcohol also pose a serious safety risk on flights, especially when cruising at 30,000 feet above sea level!

Tip: Did you know that the barometric pressure in the cabin of a plane diminishes the body’s ability to absorb oxygen? This means that drinking alcohol in the air might make you appear to be more drunk than drinking the same amount of alcohol on the ground. Hence, drink alcohol moderately and slowly the next time you fly, and drink lots of water as well.


3) Audio Insensitive

Pic 3

Sometimes we can’t help but eavesdrop when a passenger talks so loudly he or she can be heard five rows down the aisle. While Singaporeans appreciate free entertainment when we want to be entertained, we do not really want to hear non-stop chatter, or loud music when all we want is peace and quiet on a flight. 6 in 10 Singaporean travellers voted the “Audio Insensitive” – the passenger who talks or turn up the volume of their music too loudly – as one of the most annoying airplane etiquette violators.


Tip: A good way to handle this is by getting the flight attendants’ help to get the particular passenger to lower his or her volume, especially when majority of the passengers are sleeping.


Tip: Invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones that come with an airplane adapter. You can’t control other people on the plane, but you can control what you block out. Instead of dead silence, with headphones you can easily ignore the airplane noise and tune in to your movie, music or ‘sleep sounds’ pre-loaded on your phone. Spotify’s library and subscription-only offline mode is very helpful for this.


2) Inattentive Parents

Pic 2

High-pitched shrieks and primal screams – it’s no surprise that “Inattentive Parents” came in second on the list of Singaporeans’ top airplane etiquette violators with 64 percent of the votes. While Singaporeans are more tolerant of crying babies, they are much less tolerant of parents who have seemingly no control over their crying, whining or misbehaving children.


Tip: Always be prepared with snacks, toys or entertainment to entertain or distract restless children on flights, and be active in comforting your children especially during air pressure changes as those moments cause the most discomfort to children.


Tip: Again, headphones!


1) Rear Seat Kickers

Pic 1

Did you know that nearly 7 in 10 Singaporeans picked the “Rear Seat Kicker” as the airplane etiquette violator they find the most annoying? Well, this should not come as a stunner – imagine falling asleep on a flight and getting a constant back massage while you’re at it. Thanks, but no thanks.

Tip: Keep your feet and knees away from the seat at all times. Use the footrest or keep your feet on the floor. As you wouldn’t like to become a recipient of the back massage yourself, start by being the model inflight neighbor!


Do you think you are guilty of any one of these behaviours? Even if you are, it is never too late to be aware, as all of us have a part to play to create a more enjoyable inflight experience for everyone.

For more findings from the 2017 Expedia Airplane Etiquette Study, click here.