When it comes to manners in the air, U.S. travelers are in dire need of some airplane etiquette lessons. According to a new poll by Harris Interactive and Yahoo! FareChase, large overhead luggage, talkative seat mates, armrest hogs and overly aromatic passengers top the list of traveler aggravations.
Yahoo! commissioned the survey in connection with the recent launch of its FareChase search engine that scours the online community to provide travelers with the best prices. In addition to travel habits, the survey found that 60 percent of respondents have researched flights and vacations online.
"We hear a lot from all quarters — the media, airline employees and travelers themselves — about some of the pains of air travel," says Don George, global travel editor of Lonely Planet. "But travelers should take heart that there really is a lot we can all do to minimize onboard inconveniences — by simply treating each other with courtesy."
Here are some suggestions to help us all get along in the air:
· Consider carry-on courtesy. Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed admitted to bringing extra carry-on luggage above the airline maximum. Surprisingly, nearly half of those surveyed admitted to stowing their carry-on luggage in an overhead bin that wasn't above their seat.
"The battle of the overhead bins is a bad way to start a flight," says George. "Courtesy dictates that you limit yourself to the airline's permitted number and size of carry-ons, and put your bags over your own seat or under the seat in front of you. Stashing your bag in the first available bin won't help you deplane faster. You're just slowing things down for everyone."
· Learn when to talk and when to keep quiet. Most of us (73 percent) like to talk to the person sitting next to us on a flight, but 50 percent dread sitting next to someone who talks too much.
· Remember, the nose knows. A whopping 82 percent of poll respondents most dread sitting next to someone with a strong personal odor — whether body odor or too much perfume. "Aromatic" passengers even beat out armrest hogs (46 percent) and babies (40 percent) as the least desirable seat mates.
This article was prepared in cooperation with ARA Content.