Smelly travellers getting up your nose

Monday , 21 December 2015 by Aimee Bourke

Smelly travellers are getting up the nose of Kiwi holidaymakers who say offensive body odour is the most annoying thing about fellow passengers on a flight.

New research from Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) found the top things that irk Kiwi passengers on a flight are:

  • 24% - smell
  • 14% - spilling into the armrest
  • 11% - letting children misbehave
  • 11% - getting drunk
  • 11% - talking loudly or incessantly
  • 9% - being demanding or rude to flight attendants
  • 8% - reclining their seat

But the research also found that despite our displeasure, many of us aren’t prepared to take action, with 21% saying they would let it go and a further 26% silently fuming and doing nothing.

Amongst the remaining annoyed passengers:

  • 23% would report the passenger to the flight attendant
  • 22% would ask for a new seat
  • 17% would confront the person directly
  • 10% would pay them back subtly (watch out for these ones!)
  • 7% would complain to the airline later and
  • 5% rant on social media.

“International travel can be stressful and being cooped up in a plane for hours at a time is bound to cause a few irritations, so be prepared,” says SCTI CEO Craig Morrison.

“Take practical things like ear plugs or noise cancelling earphones, but also take a friendly and polite attitude. A bit of consideration for other travellers is important, as is the ability to politely but firmly ask someone to refrain from talking drunkenly into your ear at close range,” he says.

Our irritation doesn’t stop once we reach our destination. The research also asked Kiwis what annoys them most about other travellers while on holiday, with disrespecting the local culture (51%), spitting or littering (51%), being arrogant (50%) and constantly complaining (50%) being the top irritations. The list also included

  • being loud - 41%
  • being drunk - 37%
  • excessive phone or camera usage - 13%
  • not attempting to learn the local language - 13%
  • being boring – 6% and
  • being overly friendly - 6%

It seems we practice what we preach, with 73% of us trying to learn some local phrases and basic language when we travel.