From bare feet to chatty guests: Top annoyances travel marketers MUST take note of

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A study has taken a deep dive into travel behavior from 35,000 feet to 350 square feet.

The average person takes five flights per year and spends 14 nights in a hotel, so it’s not surprising strong opinions are formed when traveling.

Although everyone has their own unique pet peeves, according to’s ‘2018 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study’ the top three things most people can’t stand are seat kickers, barefoot passengers and excessively chatty or loud travelers.


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According to PRNewswire, this year’s findings highlight the sometimes-unwritten etiquette rules that, if followed, ensure getting to the destination is half the fun.

The Seat Kicker Reigns Supreme

For the fourth year in a row, more than half of global respondents identified the passenger who constantly kicks, grabs or bumps their seat as the most annoying.

With the average amount of legroom decreasing on some airline carriers to accommodate more seats, this behavior is likely to remain one of the most common and most hated.

Travelers might find some insurance against seat kicking by upgrading to premium economy or choosing a seat in front of an exit row.

Or join the 62 percent of travelers who politely notify airline staff about the annoyance and save themselves hours of irritation.

Bare Feet Are A Flying No-No

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.


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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.

Shhh… Do Not Disturb

Whether in-flight or in bed, people just want peace and quiet. Nearly 90 percent of Americans prefer to keep to themselves during a flight, while 66 percent always or frequently use the privacy indicator to prevent hotel staff from entering their room.

To pass the time while flying, Americans would rather sleep (69%) than talk to other passengers (28%). And flying isn’t the time to ramble – our study shows 77 percent of Americans dread sitting next to someone who talks too much.

Fees and Freebies Drive Booking Behaviors

Travelers are extremely budget conscious; price and associated fees are among the biggest factors people take into consideration when booking a flight or hotel.


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There’s some notable commonalities and differences in how travelers go about saving money, but overstuffing carry-ons to avoid checked baggage fees are the most common behavior.

Americans lead the way here, far surpassing any other country and illustrating the deep impact of changes in fee structures.

The thriftiness doesn’t stop there. 75 percent of travelers deem freebies such as Wi-Fi, breakfast, resort credits, free parking, and room upgrades as very or somewhat important when booking a hotel.