By Alexis Tiacoh, on April 30, 2018

Don’t be that traveler: Etiquette for flyers and hotel stayers

Expedia’s 2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study results are in, and we’re eager to share them with you. This year, we surveyed over 18,000 people globally about the behaviors that make travel experiences less than enjoyable. Getting from one destination to another can be difficult enough, but bad manners on behalf of other travelers can make a journey significantly more challenging. Although everyone has their own unique pet peeves, the top three things most people can’t stand are seat kickers, barefoot passengers and excessively chatty or loud travelers.

Do these feet belong to you?

Over 90 percent of global respondents agree it’s not ok to be barefoot during a flight. This is particularly true for nearly 75 percent of Americans who said they always keep their shoes and socks on. Getting comfy on a long flight is tough, but there is a happy medium to avoid grossing out seatmates. Only remove shoes, and never prop feet up on the seatback or encroach into the next row.

Additionally, wearing your socks and sneaks on the flight will save space in your carry-on, which is important to nearly half of American travelers—47 percent of respondents claimed to cram their carry-ons to avoid checked-baggage fees (far surpassing any other country). And, doesn’t removing your sandals to walk barefoot through the airport security line sound gross? Ick.

Here are this year’s top-ranked airplane violators:

  1. The Seat Kicker/Bumper/Grabber (51%)
  2. The Aromatic Passenger (43%)
  3. Inattentive Parents (39%)
  4. Personal Space Violators (34%)
  5. Audio Insensitive (29%)
  6. Queue Jumper (18%)
  7. Pungent Foodies (14%)
  8. Baggage Mishandler (13%)
  9. Armrest Hog (13%)
  10. Airplane Mode Violator (11%)
  11. Security Newbie (9%)

Eww! Bedbugs?

I’m not alone in detesting these nasty bugs—a whopping 80 percent of American respondents agreed that the worst thing to encounter when checking into their hotel room is bedbugs. 67 percent reported that finding a used condom or opened condom wrapper was also horrifying. Thankfully, offers over 40 million post-stay reviews and over 30 million real-time reviews to help travelers avoid such hotel horrors.

When it comes to hotel amenities, the study revealed that 82 percent of Americans identified Wi-Fi (whether it comes at a cost or is complimentary) as the most important hotel amenity. And if you’re constantly on the lookout for hotel freebie like I am when planning my trips, check out Expedia Free Extras— doing so will get you access to over 40 special offers that normally come at an added cost.

Here are this year’s top-ranked hotel violators:

  1. The Inattentive Parents (45%)
  2. The Hallway Hellraisers (41%)
  3. The In-Room Revelers (41%)
  4. The Complainers (29%)
  5. The Party-goers (27%)
  6. The Bar Boozer (27%)
  7. The Bickerers (20%)
  8. The Loudly Amorous (19%)
  9. The Hot Tub Canoodlers (11%)
  10. The Elevator Chatterbox (5%)

Oh, And…

  • Across the globe, travelers are most annoyed to find bed bugs, a used condom, cigarette smoke or foul smell upon checking into a hotel roomwhile dirty surroundings are the main reason travelers request to switch hotel rooms, more than half rarely or never sanitize items like the remote and phone, or wear shower shoes to protect their feet.
  • South Koreans are the most likely to get drunk on a flight—Thai and American travelers round out the top three.
  • Travelers typically recline their seats for two reasons—only if it’s a long flight, three hours or more, or when going to sleep. A quarter of Americans said they never recline their seat because it’s rude. Europeans tend to be more likely to ask fellow passengers to un-recline their seat.
  • 54 percent of people agree it’s ok to wake snoring passengers—and when it comes to passing a sleeping passenger, most don’t hesitate to wake them and ask them to move. 20 percent say it’s ok to just climb over with your back to them.
  • Online and mobile check-in are taking the world by storm, just over a third of travelers still check-in at the airport—50 percent of Americans check-in online for their flights. Meanwhile, 72 percent still print a boarding pass and less than 30 percent use a mobile boarding pass.
  • Hotel habits—most travelers admit to hiding valuables from housekeeping and taking items from a hotel room.
  • Tipping behaviors—Per interaction, Americans think $2-3 is an acceptable tip for hotel employees.
  • One in four Americans said they’ve ever been treated unfairly or felt an airport staff member, flight attendant or ticketing agent was rude to them.
  • Americans want big chain and boutique hotels, vacation rentals for their lodging accommodations.
  • Americans don’t appear to want Mile High Club memberships, as 73 percent said they’d never be sexually intimate with a travel companion or someone they just met on a flight. However, a surprising number (30%) confessed to booking a hotel for hooking up, and 10 percent admit to purchasing overpriced adult movies.
  • When it comes to seat selection, 59 percent of Americans prefer the window over the aisle.
  • The most common in-flight activities are reading (74%), sleep and watching TV (69%), and listening to music/podcasts (61%).

Fascinated by findings?

More fun and interesting revelations from our report can be found here.

How do you safeguard your travels from unpleasant disturbances?