If You Do These Annoying Things on Your Next Flight, Your Neighbors Will Definitely Hate You

We’ve all been there. You wait around at the gate, keeping your fingers crossed that your flight doesn’t get delayed. Then, when you finally get on the plane and stow your luggage in the overhead bin, you keep hoping you’ll get an entire row to yourself — or at least that you won’t end up next to an annoying neighbor. But there’s always one passenger who can ruin the flight for everybody else. And all hope of a worry-free flight disappears the moment they set up shop in the seat next to you.

But what if that annoying passenger is you? What a terrible thought! Read on to get the inside scoop on the most annoying things you can do on a plane. If you do any of these things, your neighbors — and the flight attendants — will definitely try to avoid you.

15. Disrupting your row to get up every 10 minutes

Women sitting on an airplane

If you’re that person, pick an aisle seat. | iStock/Getty Images

We all know it’s important to stay hydrated. And it’s a good idea to get up and stretch our legs during a flight. So why do we get so annoyed with a seatmate who wants to get up and walk around the cabin? As Travel + Leisure reports, many travelers think if you have to wake up your neighbor to get out of your row, you should only do it once. That might work on a flight that only lasts a few hours — but not on longer flights.

Next: Try not to do this when you sleep.

14. Snoring loudly

man passenger in airplane using mobile smart device with headphones

Snoring is annoying at home but most especially on a plane. | Genaro_Melendrez /iStock/Getty Images

If you plan to sleep through your next flight, you might want to ask your spouse whether you snore. If the answer is a resounding yes, perhaps you’ll want to do something to get that under control — both for your health and for everybody else’s sanity. Otherwise, you can bet at least a few of the other passengers in your vicinity will give you the side eye as soon as you drift off to sleep.

Next: If you plan to pack your own food, avoid this faux pas.

13. Eating food with a strong odor

child eating in the airplane

This is not the time for blue cheese or tuna. | Vsurkov/iStock/Getty Images

Not everybody likes the food that airlines serve. (And not every airline even serves food anymore.) So it’s a good idea to bring your own food if you’ll need a meal mid-flight. But your neighbors definitely won’t be happy if you bring a meal with a strong odor. Whether it’s greasy fast food you picked up in the terminal or week-old leftovers you dug out of your fridge, smelly food won’t win you any favor among your seatmates.

Next: Don’t do this when you want to read your book.

12. Turning your light on when everyone else just wants to sleep

Airplane passengers relax during flight

If everyone is sleeping, don’t be that person. | CandyBoxImages/iStock/Getty Images

It’s hard to argue that you don’t have the right to use the light above your seat whenever you feel like it. But nobody likes being rudely awakened by their seatmate abruptly turning on the light, especially when the rest of the cabin is completely dark. Does it look like everybody else has dozed off? Then, think twice before turning on your light.

Next: If they’re wearing a sleep mask (or a pair of earplugs) don’t do this.

11. Talking your neighbor’s ears off

toasting with champagne business class airplane cabin

Pay very close attention to their body language and reactions. | Tuned_In/iStock/Getty Images

Some people are social butterflies and want to make friends wherever they go. But not everybody is willing to be your conversation partner on a cross-country flight. In normal social situations, someone who doesn’t want to talk to you can, well, get up and walk away. But nobody really has that luxury on a flight. Make sure before you start telling your seatmate your life’s story, that person doesn’t seem like they’d rather read, listen to music, or sleep instead.

Next: Watch where your legs and feet are going.

10. Kicking the seat in front of you

little girls traveling by an airplane

Make sure the little ones in your group are well behaved. | maximkabb/iStock/Getty Images

Again, the airline definitely doesn’t give you much space to maneuver. But the passenger in front of you will appreciate it if you try to maneuver your legs carefully. Nobody likes having the back of their seat kicked repeatedly. It’s annoying and uncomfortable. It can even get painful, depending on the force involved. And if you have a young traveler or two flying with you? Make sure they know not to kick the seats, too.

Next: Don’t do this if you want to take a nap.

9. Reclining your seat into somebody’s knees

Man with his knees against airplane seat

These seats are way too small for that. | Digital Vision/iStock/Getty Images

Public opinion on reclining an airplane seat is divided, to say the least. Some people think it’s their right to recline their seat. (After all, why else would the button be there?) Others think it’s common courtesy to avoid reclining your seat into somebody’s lap. But most people would agree that you’ll only annoy your neighbors by violently reclining your chair and jamming into somebody’s knees. And you won’t make any friends by keeping your seat reclined throughout the entire flight, especially when everybody is eating whatever food the airline serves.

Next: This is a sure way to irritate your seatmates.

8. Hogging the armrest

Couple talking on an airplane

Remember to share. | Digital Vision/iStock/Getty Images

Similarly, opinions vary on armrest etiquette. But one thing’s certain: Nobody likes sitting next to someone who takes up all the room on the armrest — and then some. If you need some space on the arm rest to get comfortable, try to leave some for your neighbor, too. And whatever you do, don’t let your elbows, shoulders, or any other extremities extend beyond the armrest and into someone else’s seat.

Next: Similarly, you should never do this.

7. Taking up somebody else’s space

Couple asleep on a plane

Hopefully, they know each other. | iStock/Getty Images

We get it: The airline provides you with way too little space, especially if you have to fly economy. But that’s no excuse for letting your feet, head, or shoulders take up somebody else’s space. We’ve almost all ended up with a seatmate who fell asleep on our shoulder. And many of us have ended up with a stranger’s feet taking up residence in our own legroom or, perhaps worse, in the aisle where they can trip anyone who passes. Keep on everybody’s good side by trying to stay in your own seat. Hopefully everyone else will follow your good example.

Next: If you’re a parent or grandparent, don’t do this.

6. Ignoring your crying baby

Toddler boy sleeping on father's laps while traveling in airplane

Traveling with an infant is tough. | Yaoinlove/iStock/Getty Images

Nobody wants to call your parenting or grandparenting skills into question. But a cross-country flight isn’t the time to try sleep-training an infant. If you’re flying with a little one, your seatmates will want you to respond promptly when the baby starts crying. Most people know babies cry. But that doesn’t mean they want to listen to nonstop crying on an already trying flight.

Next: Some bags should be checked, not carried on.

5. Carrying on way too many bags

man putting luggage on the top shelf on airplane

Finding space in the overhead bins is a nightmare these days. | LiudmylaSupynska/iStock/Getty Images

Airlines charge ridiculous fees for checked bags (and just about everything else). So many of us try to fit everything we need for a trip into a single carry-on. But some people look beyond the boundaries of common sense and try to carry on way too many bags — or bags that far exceed the limits that airlines should supposedly enforce. If you find yourself struggling to make your way down the aisle with all your belongings in tow, you can bet your neighbors will roll their eyes as you attempt to jam it all into the overhead.

Next: Don’t do this when you take photos.

4. Reaching over people to take photos of your trip

Airplane wing in sky & clouds

Every over-the-wing picture is basically the same. | WeatherlyHammond/iStock/Getty Images

Everybody has an Instagram account these days. So you’ll see plenty of people at the airport or on the plane documenting their trip with their smartphone cameras. But nobody likes almost getting hit in the face by somebody else’s phone. Try not to lean over your neighbor to try to take a picture out the window (when you aren’t sitting in the window seat). Watch what you’re doing when you take a selfie. And if you’re taking a photo or video as you walk down the aisle, make sure you pay attention to what’s in front of you.

Next: If you’re sick, try not to do this.

3. Coughing all over your neighbors

Happy young woman is sitting in the airplane, feel headache

If you’re feeling sick, keep to your own space, and sanitize. | RyanKing999/iStock/Getty Images

Most people can’t help it if they have to fly when they’re getting over a cold. But you should always do your best to keep your germs to yourself. (After all, airplanes and airports are germ-infested enough as it is.) If you have to cough, sneeze, clear your throat, or blow your nose, try to stay within the confines of your own personal space. Do your best to direct your coughs and sneezes into your arm. And always carry — and use — a bottle of hand sanitizer to avoid spreading your germs.

Next: Never do this at the end of the flight.

2. Rushing to get off the plane

Women standing in a plane

You’re not getting off any quicker. | Digital Vision/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re the kind of person who turns on your smartphone and jumps out of your seat as soon as the plane touches down, you might want to break that habit. Your seatmates probably hate it when you elbow people out of your way to get your bag out of the overhead and rush off the plane. Plus, unless you’re sitting at the front of the plane, it’s unlikely that you’ll get off the plane any faster.

Next: Don’t ever do this if you don’t want to annoy your neighbors.

1. Overindulging in alcoholic beverages

Know your limits. | Digital Vision/iStock/Getty Images

Your seatmates and the cabin crew alike will definitely judge you for overindulging in your alcoholic beverage of choice. Beer, wine, or bloody mary: Too many of any of the above will probably turn you into the loud and annoying seatmate of everybody’s worst nightmares. If you’ve ever ended up next to a passenger who ordered one too many drinks from the bar cart, we probably don’t need to make any other argument for exercising some self-control when the flight attendants ask what you’d like.

Read more: These Embarrassing In-Flight Faux Pas Will Make You Cringe

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!