Flying With Rude Passengers: Survey Asks What Would You Do

rude passengersSay you’re on a plane, sitting in a middle seat, and the rude passengers on both sides of you are in command of the arm wrests. Do you say something? Ask a flight attendant to help? Say nothing and live with it? Or are you just not sure? If you are like a lot of people, you say nothing according to a fifth annual nationwide survey that asked Americans how they would handle uncomfortable but common air travel situations.

Nearly half those surveyed (48.9%) would say nothing to their arm-wrest hogging neighbors with about a quarter saying they would stand up for the space they paid for either by saying something to their overflowing seatmate (27.9%) or asking a flight attendant (2.7%) for help. The remaining 20.6 % were just not sure about it.Think that person in front of you who reclines to the point that you cannot open a laptop is a problem? You are not alone. A full 75% would either say something to that passenger or call a flight attendant for help, while 7.7% were just not sure about it. In fact, a number of survey respondents were “just not sure” about most situations. It is no surprise then when asked what to do when seated next to a non-stop talker, 89.6% of those surveyed would read a book, put on headphones, pretend to sleep or just give in and talk throughout the flight rather than say something to them directly about talking (10.4%).

The survey, conducted by the Travel Leaders Group from March 15 to April 8, 2013, measured responses from 1,788 air travelers on a number of very specific circumstances involving rude passengers.

“As their travel agent experts, we hear directly from our clients who share similar complaints regarding their experiences. In our survey, we wanted to know how many travelers proactively take some sort of action to resolve those situations,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.

The survey also asked about screaming children on a plane (not popular), which got the highest response from respondents saying it was a matter that flight attendants should take care of.

What do you think?

[Photo credit - Flickr user by mralan]