Top Travel Faux Pas according to TripIt Survey

The recently released survey results from TripIt list the top travel faux pas, or travelers’ pet peeves. The results are divided into two lists, the Top 10 Flying Faux Pas and the Top 10 Hotel Faux Pas.

Amy Jackson, Senior Director for TripIt at Concur, provided some suggestions for how to lessen the impact of travel frustrations.

The survey showed that travelers value courteous customers more than any other travel behavior. The majority (62 percent) voted that being rude to crew and staff was the most annoying flight behavior of other travelers.

Amy Jackson suggests, “You can take the tension out of conversations with airline and hotel staff by having your confirmation or reservation number handy when you approach the service desk.”

Parents not disciplining children when they’re disturbing passengers and seat “hogs” were the second and third most annoying behaviors for those taking the survey.

Although sometimes their behavior is not intentional, the seat hogs can crowd your seating space (including both armrests) while in flight or utilize the limited seating available in crowded boarding areas to house their personal belongings.

“When your neighboring passengers are too close for comfort or knocking the back of your seat, it’s easy to forget that they probably don’t realize their actions are affecting you,” according to Amy Jackson.

“To keep the peace, ask calmly for armrest space or a lighter touch on the touchscreen. That usually takes care of it. If a child is the source, then ask the parents so they can help enforce it.”

For additional suggestions from TripIt on how to make plane travel less stressful read their suggestions in, “How to Be a Better Airplane Passenger: The Golden Rules of Flying”.

My personal choice for most annoying flight travel faux pas came in at number six, passengers reclining their seat into your seating area.  While I understand the need for sleep on long haul flights, I find reclining a seat as far as possible on a flight under three hours, when the passenger is just reading or watching a video shows a lack of thoughtfulness for the passenger sitting behind them.  It is especially annoying during meal service!

When it came to the behavior of hotel guests, 65 percent of those surveyed stated that being a loud neighbor is the most irritating faux pas of other hotel guests.

“Noisy neighbors can add extra stress when travelers are trying to get a good night sleep away from home, so keep the revelry in the lobby bar or outside the hotel,” said Jackson. “If all else fails, call the front desk and have them deal with the situation directly. In general, noise canceling headphones can be a lifesaver on planes, in loud airports or hotels.”

My personal choice in the hotel category did not make the list.  However, it is really a hotel staff annoyance as much as a fellow traveler annoyance. There is nothing worse in a hotel stay than getting to your destination at 1:00am, falling into bed, and then being awakened at 5am by the alarm.  While it would be polite for travelers to turn off or reset the alarm, I do not understand while all hotel housekeeping staff are not trained to check the alarm when doing a cleaning after check out.

Checking the alarm is now one of the first things that I do upon arrival.  However, I occasionally forget, and invariably an early alarm wakes me up long before I am ready.

Complete Survey Results

Top 10 Flying Faux Pas: What other travelers find the most annoying

Top 10 Flight Faux Pas
Top 10 Flight Faux Pas

Top 10 Hotel Faux Pas: What other travelers find the most annoying

Top 10 Hotel Faux Pas
Top 10 Hotel Faux Pas

How the Survey was Conducted

The survey was conducted online within the United States by GutCheck on behalf of TripIt between September 8-11, 2014 among a sample size of 400 travelers. Survey participants include adults, male and female, 18 and older. Also included are travelers that, in the past 12 months, have flown on a commercial airline and have stayed overnight for at least one business trip and leisure trip. For methodology-related questions, you can contact [email protected].

Kathy Stafford
Kathy Stafford

Kathy Stafford is a writer, publisher and editor. She was a contributing author to "Sasha Cohen Fire on Ice". She has been a contributing editor to several publications including, "Discover Balboa Park: A Complete Guide". Kathy was publisher and editor of "Skating Sketches", reporting on figure skating worldwide, for over ten years. She was a credentialed journalist as a figure skating specialist for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. She has covered international skating events in Switzerland, France, Finland, England, Canada and the United States with published articles in Canada, Japan, and the United States. Although she never accepted an assignment, she was on the list of approved Lonely Planet authors for three years. She is currently combining her love of travel, and her background as a writer and editor, as a publisher and author of travel related journalism. In addition, she blogs about her search for her family roots at

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