Armchair Traveller

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People with bad B.O. voted worst to sit next to on a plane

People with bad B.O. voted worst to sit next to on a plane

Ever sat next to a smelly bloke, screaming baby or loud drunk on a long-haul? We've all been there. You can't put any group of people in close quarters without a few complaints — but it's people with bad body odour who are far and above the worst to sit next to on a plane, according to a new poll by the Australian branch of global travel site Skyscanner.

No wonder you have to walk through duty free on the way to the gate — the airlines must know how much we need all that perfume.

But that doesn't get other air travellers off scot-free. Overweight travellers were voted the second worst people to spend a flight with, bringing to mind the recurring debate about whether larger passengers should pay for a second seat.

In January, ex-Qantas chief economist Tony Webber caused a stir with a Sydney Morning Herald column where he claimed that "people who weigh more should pay more to fly on planes — in the same way that people who exceed their baggage allowance must fork our extra".

Just this week, budget carrier Ryanair Ryanair asked its flight attendants to lose weight to save on fuel costs.

Perhaps less booze on board might help too — drunk people are the third worst group of fliers according to Skyscanner users. See the full results below:

  • 1. Someone with bad body odour (289 votes)
  • 2. An overweight person (158 votes)
  • 3. A drunk person (123 votes)
  • 4. A baby (73 votes)
  • 5. A child (54 votes)
  • 6. A stag party (44 votes)
  • 7. A too-chatty person (34 votes)
  • 8. A nervous flier (9 votes)
  • 9. A loved-up couple (8 votes)
  • 10. Other (29 votes)

More than 800 people voted in the survey, so it's definitely not the final word on biggest in-flight turn-offs. Next time you fly, it might help not to throw a stag party, get drunk, smell like a brewery and adopt a random baby. It's way too Hangover for most people's tastes.

Tell us your worst in-flight peeves below, and check out our gallery of the most annoying things about flying:


Above image: Thinkstock

User comments
Yes, it all boils down to inconsiderate people. Why can't people treat each other as they would like to be treated? The world would be a lot nicer. Why do people have to have their ear phones turned up so loud on airplanes or their ipods, when travelling on public transport that everyone else can has to put up with the noise? This goes for loud music being played in their cars or even their homes. What would these same inconsiderate people do, if we the quieter minority were to be blasting our Petula Clark or Frankie Avalon music thinking how nice it sounds? Wouldn't they be wanting to block their ears? Whatever happened to society and manners, what has happened to people just being polite and considerate to each other and being mindful, that being the "secret word" mindful of each other.
The most annoying thing about airline travel is human beings....full stop! You're right about the seat reclining though, it shouldn't be allowed at all in my opinion. Or perhaps they could have a reclining chair section where all of the recliners can recline on each other - they could also pay more for their ticket for the privilege. Any takers?
Airlines should have a duty of care towards their passengers and not allow self-centred people to recline their seats to full capacity in the daytime! Full recline should only be available when cabin is sleeping on overnight flights. Also, people with body odour of any kind, be it armpits, feet or sweaty palms should not be permitted to fly at all!! Surely the majority of passengers comfort is paramount, not just the smelly minority. Last but not least, if you're a fatty, please purchase two seats and don't drape your flabby arms over my arm rest!
My kids have been on long haul flights since they were born. Most of the time it is only me and them.My last trip a young group of ladies were in front of us and gave my family the most disgusted look when we got on the plane. My kids were great the whole trip and only bumped the girl infront when my son picked up a pack of tissues he'd dropped after sitting on the tarmac for two hours. The girl in front had no problems telling me my son was kicking her seat. Just because there are children, doesn't mean they all behave like brats. I have had people tell me they didn't even know there were kids in the row behind them because my kids were so wll behaved.
going from melbourne to sydney(a 1hr flight), i sitting next to a pretty big guy,i'm on the window, thinking yeah i was fat once it only a 1hr flight, 10 min into the air the two guy infront of us put their seat back full tilt, i'm in the corner with this big guy moulding into me,if you've seen "commando" with arnie in it the plane scene where he smacks the guy and get out of it... same move,in a split second i cracked the back of the seat with an elbow upper cut( i'm no fighter just a big 6'1 *** guy), the 2 seats launch forward the two guys get up same time as me , i say first whats the story ,instant response nah nothing mate sorry all good. So take a grenade form arnie's belt , it works ,and the big dude next to me didn't even say thanks.... sorry virgin if i snapped the seats!!
I can't understand people who constantly complaining about people reclining their seats on a plane unless it is during the meal service. Although none of us like it, these people have a right to travel with their seat reclined as you do yourself. You get what you pay for.. if you wish to travel with more space then perhaps consider economy plus,business class or first class..One of my pet hates when flying is you whingers who expect the world for peanuts..go and spend 1 day in the Childrens Cancer Clinic then tell me you have a problem with that guy in front of you reclining their seat that they paid for
We loath passengers who recline their seats as soon as the seatbelt sign is off. One of the worst experiences we had was travelling with our 12 month old child and the two women in front immediately fully reclined their seats. There was absolutely no room to move with a baby on my lap and despite my husband nudging their seats they totally ignored us. They only returned their seats to the original position when the stewards came through and requested them to when serving the meals. The time of flight was around 10am, how ignorant were they.
I have flown a lot and what annoyes me the most is parents that dont put dummies or a bottle into their screaming babies mouth to shut it up (there needs to be a small room that you can place a screaming baby and the parent in there to settle the baby down) to minimize annoyance to other passengers. Toddlers that dont understand about volume control with their voices and pushing their feet into the back of your seat. Inconsider passengers that stink, overweight paasengers that take over your part of your seat. When you have booked an isle seat deliberately booked and people ask you to move just because they want to sit next to one another (they should have booked their seats earlier to secure what they wanted) rather than be rude by asking someone to move that has booked that seat properly.
When people lay there chairs all the way back at 5 o clock in the after noon and turn around and death stare your 2 year old when they bump their chairs. seriously.... get a life or fly 1st class....
I sat in front of a young woman who put her feet up on the back of my seat and the odour from her sneakers just about make me vomit. I had to sit forward the whole flight which was three hours! Not nice!!!!!

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WORST THINGS ABOUT FLYING
From screaming babies to loud drunks — these are the most annoying things about flying.