Study finds rear seat kickers to be the worst passengers on airplanes

The worst person to travel with on an airplane isn’t the person next to you. It’s the person behind you.

That's according to's second annual Airplane Etiquette Study released on Tuesday that asked 1,000 Americans to rank the most annoying on-board behaviors of their fellow passengers.  According to the survey, 67 percent of respondents said that rear seat kickers were the top offenders, pushing out inattentive parents, into second place, followed by the aromatic passenger, the audio-insensitive passenger, the boozer and the chatty Cathy.

“Expedia’s Airplane Etiquette Study is a lighthearted reminder that few places require more attention to etiquette than the inside of an airplane,” said John Morrey, vice president and general manager, “You’re in a tight space at thirty thousand feet with hundreds of fellow travelers, so even the small things – helping your neighbor stow a bag or switching seats to put a mom next to her child – can make a huge difference.”

This year’s study cited three separate seat-related confrontations where flights had to be diverted and where passengers were removed from the plane.

So where do people stand on reclining seats?

The study found that 10 percent of passengers would recline their seat even if the passenger behind them was noticeably pregnant (come on people). Another 55 percent of fliers do not ask permission to recline their seat from the passenger behind them --while 23 percent do -- and 38 percent of Americans believe the practice of seat reclining should be banned entirely, or at least restricted.

As for chatty Cathys, sixth on the list of violators, 16 percent of Americans "use flights as an opportunity to talk to and meet new people," while 65 percent "dread" the experience of sitting next to those people.

Despite the results of the study, American remain upbeat about flying, with 78 percent saying that “for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate of other passengers.”