Top in-flight travel frustrations, from passengers

Traveling has its perks because you get to see different parts of the world, experience their culture and traditions, taste their local food, and come home wiser and happier. But it has its own woes and nightmares, too, particularly while at airports and while flying.

From overly chatty seatmates, lavatory hoggers, snoring backseat passengers to perennially crying kids, these can make traveling less exciting.

Digital travel platform Agoda revealed the result of a recent survey, showing the frustrations that people experience during air travel. Agoda’s Travel Bugbears Survey 2023, conducted by independent market research firm YouGov covering 12,065 respondents interviewed online in July 2023, delves into the realm of in-flight annoyances. The survey covers 10 markets across Asia.

Discourteous behavior

The survey found discourteous invasion of personal space to be the No. 1 pet peeve. Travelers from South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan are most offended by people who invade their personal space, be it the war with the armrest, the production of bodily noises, or unpleasant smells from uncovered feet.

Delayed flight

Flight delays come in second on the list of passengers’ grievances across Asia Pacific. The patience of travelers from the Philippines topped the survey among travelers from the country. Their neighbors from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam share the same sentiment. 

Loud passengers

Ranking third biggest in-flight annoyance across the region are loud passengers, including overly chatty seatmates, couples fighting and airing out their dirty laundry in public, and groups broadcasting their music or games across the entire flight.

Australians and Malaysians are least sensitive to noise, while Taiwanese and South Korean travelers appreciate more peaceful flying experiences.


to the service staff

Japanese travelers appreciate some peace and quiet, so, they are intolerant for disruptive passengers who are rude to cabin crew as their top grievance.

Zooming in on the answers of Filipino respondents, close to a third of travelers from the Philippines mention delayed flights as their main concern, but passengers who are rude to the service staff and those who display discourteous behavior are also big sources of annoyance for them.

Reclining a seat 

without consideration

This is particularly true in the economy class, where there is just enough room to navigate oneself comfortably while seated during a flight. It becomes frustrating when the passengers in front behave as though they are in first-class and recline their seat a little too much, trapping passengers behind them in their positions and thus giving them no space to move about and make themselves comfortable.

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