8 Things People Do on Airplanes That Suck

For a minute, I seriously thought about titling this ‘what not to do on an airplane’. Then, I realized that my readers aren’t shit people and would totally never do any of these things. So, without further ado, and no explanation needed really, here are 8 things people do on airplanes that suck.

I also asked my Instagram followers to name the worst habits of their fellow flyers. Some of these are reflected here. One thing’s for sure: we’ve all been there…

8 things people do on airplanes that suck

1. Having bare feet. Anywhere.

No. No no no no. Bare feet can smell, be gross to look at, and be totally unsanitary. If you’ve ever had someone put their bare foot on your armrest, then you know what I’m talking about. People should not have to subjected to 4-month-old pedicures. To be honest, I’d be down for banning the enabling flip-flops altogether.

2. Blinding everyone with their bright AF screen.

iPads, iPhones, laptops, and the in-flight entertainment screen are the culprits for many headaches and sleepless flights. There’s always the few passengers who are totally unaware of the brightness adjustment when it’s midnight in mid-air. For the love of god, turn down your brightness!

“The worst thing ever is disturbing other passengers on long overnight flights! There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep on a 12-hour flight.” – @juliaschrdr

3. Complaining about a screaming kid.

There’s nothing I love more than engaging in an unwanted conversation with the person sitting next to me about the screaming child five rows down. Do people really think that the parent has it any better? Somewhere (five rows down to be exact) there is a parent who is more miserable than you. Also, FYI, babies cry. It sucks, but this is why people pack headphones.

4. Eating a meal that would smell delicious anywhere else but on an airplane.

I get it. Food is life. I love a good hard-boiled egg or warm Shake Shack burger just as much as the next person. However, considering you’re about to enter a 5,000 square feet 747 with recycled air, hot and rather potent food might not be the best option. This is a total violation of air travel courtesy.

“Eating gross/smelly food!” –@sadie.chafe

5. Swapping seats before asking.

We’ve all gotten to our seat at least once to discover someone already sitting in it. “Oh I switched with my boyfriend’s cousin’s baby, that okay?” Well, person, you’re still in my seat. JK, I would totally switch with someone who asked! But it’s super annoying when people don’t wait to ask and just take others’ seats. It can cause backups in the aisle and overall total confusion.

6. The kicker. The tapper. And the grabber.

Believe me, you know this person. They kick the back of your seat, tap the floor with their foot or some other annoying object like a pencil, and grab the back of your seat every time they sit up. In general, these people are totally unaware of their limbs. I know, it seems crazy. But there is a special place for these people, and it’s on one airplane with they can kick, tap, and grab in harmony.

“On a flight to Berlin, a guy behind me kept kicking my seat toward the end of the plane ride.” –@eunicecancino

7. Cutting people to get off the plane.

This one has been heavily debated in the travel community, but I can’t stand it. I hate it when the plane rolls into the gate and people immediately jump up and just fly down the aisle. Literally, I’ve seen people in row 29 make it as far as row 15. Okay, that was actually kind of impressive. If you need to make it to a connecting flight, then that’s totally acceptable. But cutting other rows is crappy when other people need to get off faster.

8. Hitting on your neighbor.

Oh this is such a classic sucky move. Unless that person is freaking Tom Hardy, then I do not want to say more than “Hi There. I’m traveling to X. Have a nice flight. And just tap on me if you need to use the restroom.” let alone be hit on by you! I think I speak for all ladies here when I say, don’t make things awkward, and don’t hit on us. Tom Hardy hit me up though!

“I once got hit on by the guy next to me on an international flight and then had to spend the remaining 7 hours awkwardly avoiding him.” –@itsliemesh

8 things people do on airplanes that suck

What are some of the worst habits you’ve experienced from other flyers? And, if you have any tips on ways to cope, please share them around with everyone!



  1. People actually put their bare feet up on the arm rest? Wow, that’s taking it too far. I take off my shoes on flights but I always make sure I’m wearing socks so no one has to deal with my feet. I agree with everything you listed, I also detest when people mess up the toilets. You know, throwing tissue on the floor or not flushing. It’s not fun at all. xx

    Coco Bella Blog

    1. Yes! I had a women put her foot on my window seat armrest from the row behind me. She had flip flops on, but let’s face it, as might as well have been a bare foot. Ewwww ew ew.

  2. Oh gosh, all of these sound terrible, but for me the worst are the bare feet and the kickers. Basically anyone who extends their bodily parts to a point where they affect me, I’m not a fan (I take that back, I want to pummel their faces in). The worse thing that’s happened to me so far was the mom of a 3 year old who in front of me who kept standing up and putting his hands on my tv screen and throwing the headrest cover around. When a kid acts like a brat, I 100% blame the parents for not telling them otherwise. In my case the mom did absolutely nothing, and I definitely wanted to punch her in the face for it. At one point the flight attendant had to tell the mom to control her child because he was still flailing around while the seat belt sign was on. Smh.

    Jenny | Geeky Posh

    1. Ugh that sounds awful! Luckily I’ve never experienced anything quite that bad. But have been sat next to some other unfortunate passengers haha.

  3. Thank you so much for listing no.3! I know kids crying are very annoying but trust me when I say most parents are mortified and try their very best to calm the kid down. Now on the case where the parents are being twats and let their kids running around like feral children…..that’s a different story.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

    1. I totally agree. I hate it when people complain. Like I just put in my headphones and say to myself “I would NOT want to be that parent right now.” And yes, then there’s the complete opposite when parents can take action and they don’t.

    1. Yes! That’s the way to do it. Just carry a pair of socks in your carry on. I don’t get why people don’t want to do that!

  4. Ah hahaha this made me laugh because it’s SO TRUE. We’ve literally experience all of these. One time, we’d just sat down and this guy pulls out this HUGE thing of gross, messy, smelly CHICKEN WINGS. It was almost comical. I’m also the kind of person who wants to get in my own space when I have a super long flight (headphones on, music playing, etc.), so I really don’t enjoy chatty neighbors (luckily, Ben is a talker, so I just throw him at them hehe).

    Thanks for making me smile with this!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    1. Haha you’re welcome! We are the same way when we travel. Though I wouldn’t say my boyfriend is the biggest talker, but I just keep quiet which forces him to talk to people hahaha. So I basically force him to, and then I hear about it later. ;p

  5. Ah reading this post made me cringe so much – not because of your writing but because I’m imagining terrible plane rides. I hate all the same things!

  6. The bare feet thing…oh my gosh, my biggest plane pet peeve! WHY do you possibly think you can take your socks off and wave your feet around in confined spaces?! So disgusting.

    1. I KNOW RIGHT?!?! I am so glad all my friends/readers are normal. But why is it people like us always get sat next to the crazies? I swear I have the worst luck.

  7. Reading this, I actually think I’ve been somewhat fortunate on my flights! I’ve probably gone a ruined that now haven’t I!? Worst I’ve experienced is a few back kickers/fiddlers and like you say – those damn bright screens when it’s 2 in the morning!

    Musings & More

    1. Ugh, I think bright screens are my least favorite. Last time I flew Delta internationally they had sleeping masks which I thought was genius! In case you didn’t bring one, or in my case, don’t own one. I think I am definitely purchasing one for my next flight!

  8. Had to laugh at a few of these and cringe at others. The thing I hate the most is when someone reclines their seat, not gently but as though their life depends on it and it crashes back. During my last international flight the guy in front of me always had to full on crash recline his seat and because I wasn’t expecting it he banged into my knees a few times and I was worried about leaving my cup on my table so he wouldn’t spill it. Ugh.


    1. Ahhh that’s such a good one to add! I am the slowest recliner ever!! I never want to knock someones drink off, or worse, have their laptop go sliding. It’s crazy that some people don’t think of these things. SMH.

  9. Oh my god I can’t stand bare feet! I can just about tolerate someone in their socks wandering about, but to have some naked ass feet on a plane is well out of order. I usually love flying, but this post really made me cringe haha. Yes to gross smelling food also – sort of in the same category as the feet lmfao. Also, how do you edit your photographs, they’re gorgeous? Flawless post as always.

    Little Moon Elephant

  10. LOL the bright screens and complaining about crying kids is always soooo annoying!! Like 1. don’t try to blind me on a dark plane please and 2. complaining about how miserable you are cause a kid is crying isn’t going to stop the issue, just make it worse!! Great post girl.




  11. The only bad thing I’ve ever experienced during an airplane ride is the taking off your socks thing. I’ll never understand the appeal of it. The one thing that always happens is people getting up and getting their luggage when the plane is still moving and the pilot just asked for everyone to stay in their seat – always makes me laugh!

    1. I know! People never listen. I am such a Hermoine Granger haha. I’m like why are people out walking around when the captain clearly just told them not too. No listening skills!

    1. Yes! I hate it when people complain so much. Like we’re all here, hearing the same thing. You don’t make it any better!!

  12. So glad I stumbled on your site, its so cute! I think the tapping is the worst for me. The restroom line also annoys me endlessly. On my last flight I’m 90% sure this guy was watching Fifty Shades of Grey which is awkward but a funny story.

    S | Je M’appelle Chanel

  13. The bare feet thing really gets to me! I hate it! I also hate it when people put their seats back on a day flight without asking. I was doing work with my macbook on the table and then all of a sudden my laptop was shut because the person had leaned back. It made such a noise it scared people! Come on…it’s 2pm and we land in 2 hours. YOU DO NOT NEED TO SLEEP. Not angry at all :’)

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

    1. Haha yes! I am always afraid of that. I usually try to anticipate when other people are going to recline. If I do it, I do it suuuuper slowly so people are aware.

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