IT TURNS out that there is something people hate even more than being sat next to a crying baby on a plane.
Many might assume that sitting next to a screaming baby would be the most hated part of flying for most travellers — but it turns out there some things that trump even an on-flight tantrum.
New research conducted by finder.com.au found that the number one pet hate of Australian flyers is other passengers kicking the back of their seat.
Over half of the respondents (55 per cent) said that being sat in front of a kick-happy passenger is their top frustration when flying.
Coming in at a very close number two is bad body odour, with a smelly passenger being an instant trip-ruiner for 54 per cent of Aussies.
Surprisingly, crying babies and loud children came in lower down, as the third most common complaint at 38 per cent.
Finder.com.au travel expert Angus Kidman said that the top three flying frustrations are all factors that can’t be easily ignored when in the confined space of a plane.
“If you constantly have someone kicking the back of your seat, it can become incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re trying to sleep,” he said.
“If you’re stuck next to someone with bad body odour there’s not really much you can do, without making both yourself and the other person feel rather uncomfortable.”
He added: “It’s honestly surprising to see crying kids not coming in at number one. With all the talk about pushing for kids-free zones on planes, you’d think this would be the number one frustration for travellers.”
Other things that get under passengers’ skin include people reclining their seats during meal time, armrest and luggage space hogs, and people being rude to the airline staff.
Out of the different generations, Baby Boomers were the most annoyed with people kicking their seat at 58 per cent, in comparison to Gen X at 57 per cent and Gen Y at 51 per cent.
Interestingly, sitting next to a smelly passenger didn’t seem to bother people in the older generation as much as the younger ones.
Close to 60 per cent of Gen X and Y respondents said it was their number one pet peeve, while only 46 per cent of Baby Boomers agreed.
People coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths came in at number five on the list.
While you might not be able to do much if someone coughs directly in your face, Mr Kidman said there are things you can do to stop getting sick from your flight.
“If you are concerned about getting sick there are things you can do to make sure you keep the cold away,” he said.
“Always keep hand sanitiser close-by and keep hydrated: the air inside the cabin is a lot drier than we’re used to.”