Worst Passengers on Planes: You be the Judge

Expedia has just released its Most Annoying Airline Passenger survey with the usual colorful cast of characters but FareCompare has been keeping such lists for years with bad passenger candidates that go way beyond colorful. Which are the worst people on planes? You be the judge.

Worst Passengers: Expedia

These are Expedia’s top five annoying passengers; see the complete list at USA Today.

  1. Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 67% of study respondents)
  2. Inattentive Parents (64%)
  3. Aromatic Passenger (56%)
  4. Audio Insensitive (talking or music; 51%)
  5. The Boozer (50%)

Worst People on Planes: FareCompare

FareCompare’s candidates for worst passengers include some real doozies.

  1. Drunk on a plane I: This 2009 incident stands out vividly in our collective memory. During a trans-Atlantic United flight, the crew cut-off drinks to a British woman so she resorted to the lavatory’s liquid soap (high alcohol content). She then snapped like a dog and tried to bite a flight attendant’s leg. “I sometimes do crazy things,” she said later.
  2. Outraged VIP: Cabin crews hear this all the time: “Do you know who I am?” Uusally they smile though some will ask if the VIP wannabe needs help finding out his/her true identity. One flight attendant of our acquaintance heard this for the umpteenth time as a first class passenger threw a fit and decided to get a little revenge. “Sir,” she responded in a very loud voice, “I said we were out of chicken, not that we lost power in both engines,” and everyone had a good long laugh. Everyone except for Mr. First Class, of course.
  3. Drunk on a plane II: This occurred aboard a British Airways flight in 2014 when a self-admitted drunken woman screamed profanities while threatening to kill the cabin crew (she did draw blood). Her former profession: Flight attendant.
  4. Feet people: Go to PassengerShaming and what do you see? Bare feet. On arm rests, on tray tables, on seat backs. We disapprove.

And honorable mention goes to: Whoever was in charge of packing 60 human heads discovered on a Southwest flight in 2010 – and we suspect the heads (medical specimens) may have been “discovered” because they were not, uh, refrigerated. We know they were badly wrapped; authorities said there was lots and lots of duct tape.


Updated: December 9, 2014