The 7 Worst Types of People on a Plane 

October 23, 2019

Picture the scene: you recently got seated on your flight. The airport run was quick and easy, you enjoyed a nice snack while waiting in the departure lounge and the boarding process went smoothly without a hitch.

But wait, what’s this?

You take off and literally the moment that the seatbelt sign goes off, you notice them.

You clock the worst type of plane person.

That’s it – your good mood is gone in a matter of seconds, along with your state of relaxation and the feeling of excitement about reaching your final destination. Now you’ll have to endure several hours stuck in a funk thanks to these certain kinds of travellers.


From the one who won’t stop talking to you while you’re trying to sleep to the one who insists on using your legroom as theirs, I bet you can relate to my despair when it comes to these 7 worst types of people on a plane.

The 7 Worst Types of People on a Plane

1. The Immediate Recliners 

You barely have time to catch your breath since you had to shove your head as far back into your seat as possible for takeoff before this person sitting in front of you decides to recline their seat. 

Michael McIntyre always says that there are two types of people on a plane: those who don’t waste a second to recline their seat all the way immediately. And those who incline their seat gradually throughout the flight to be respectful to others.

And do you know what, Michael? You’re absolutely spot on. 

Personally, I’m the latter, which makes me frown upon the former. 

I mean, can’t you just let me enjoy my limited seat space for at least half an hour before you invade it? Apparently not. Humph.

2. The Back-Kickers 

Whether it’s a child who has no concept of spatial awareness or a tall adult who can’t help it, there’s a special place in hell for plane back-kickers.

I’m five foot eleven so I totally get how difficult it is to keep your knees to yourself, but that’s why I perform my very own version of the twist when I fly. Would you care to join me?

Sure, it’s challenging to sit for hours (I hear it’s the new smoking) and I can accept the odd wiggle or adjustment, but constant jabs to the back while I’m sitting there trying to enjoy my journey just ain’t cool. 

Katie Davies Fashion Blogger

3. The Loud Music- or Game-Players

Worst types of people on a plane 101: those who play music or games on their iPads super loud. I mean, headphones were invented for a reason, guys.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely commend your ability to keep yourself entertained while we all try to forget that we’re thousands of miles up in the air, but please try to keep the noise down – will you? 

Some of us like to read. Just saying. 

4. The Blissfully-Unaware Parents

Okay, parents. I totally sympathise with you.

You’ve got the almost impossible task of trying to occupy your mini-me’s in a very confined area for hours at a time.

That said, please try to keep an eye on your offspring instead of going to sleep or just switching on a film. The amount of times I’ve seen parents do this is countless, and it results in their kids running up and down the aisles or harassing other travellers.

Newsflash: a plane isn’t a playground. Or a creche where you can assume your little one will be okay going unwatched.

For the sake of us child-free plane goers, please just make sure that your kids are behaving. And not standing up on the seat and pulling the hair of the person sitting in front of them. (Yes, this actually happened to me once.)

5. The Snorers 

Yes, I realise snorers can’t help that they snore. But dear lord, this is a frustrating one for all us non-snorers on a plane.

Especially when the said snorer falls asleep practically on your shoulder and all you want is a bit of peace and quiet. (And not a stranger’s face in your face.)


Worst Types of People on a Plane 2

6. The Personal Space-Invaders

Look, we all struggle when we’re on a plane journey and confined to a small seat for long periods of time.

After all, human beings are meant to be mobile.

But seriously, just because I’m sat next to you (or even chatting to you) doesn’t mean that you can touch my leg with your leg or lean into my headspace as you nod off to sleep.

I understand that it’s difficult at times, but please keep your limbs in your seat area the best you can, people. My sanity depends on it.

7. The Under- or Over-Sharers

As we all know, there are two kinds of human beings: introverts and extroverts.

Introverts love spending plane journeys on their own without talking to anybody – most likely listening to music or watching a film or reading a good book. (Cough, me.)

Extroverts, on the other hand, love a good chat on a flight. In fact, that’s their favourite way of spending the journey.

If you get an extrovert and extrovert sat together, it’s happy days. They’ll talk for hours and have a friend for life by the end of the flight. Likewise, if you get an introvert and introvert sat together, they’ll be in their element just being able to chill and do their own thing. 

On the other hand, if you get an introvert and extrovert sat together then this can be problematic for both parties. 

After all, one will be telling the other one their life story while the other one subconsciously rolls their eyes and longs for them to stop talking so that they can make the most of the on-board entertainment.

That’s why it’s important to read the signs of your fellow passengers. If your seat buddies aren’t making conversation with you, it’s probably because they don’t want a conversation.

Similarly, if your seat buddies are restless, try and give them something to do to keep them happy. 

It’s all about finding the perfect balance and being respectful of one another and our needs as human beings. Right?

Are You One of the Worst Types of People on a Plane?

If you’ve got to the end of this post and you’re feeling kind of embarrassed because I’ve basically described you, your kid or your Great Aunt Sally as one of the worst types of people on a plane, don’t despair.

Sure, it’s not an easy pill to swallow, but we’ve all been joyfully ignorant travellers at one point or another. In fact, if you’re new to flying or you’ve only flown a handful of times before, you might have not noticed any of these observations.

If so, that’s okay. The bottom line is that you keep yourself feeling content on a plane journey, but also be kind to others. 

After all, we have to look after ourselves and others if we want to make the world a better place. 

Worst Types of People on a Plane


Have you come across any of these worst types of people on a plane? If so, how was your personal experience? Also, let me know in the comments if I’ve missed off any other types! 

Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded The Trendy Tourist. In the last three years, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.

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