Seatback kickers voted most annoying in-flight passengers


, Last Updated: 12:00 PM ET

Long-legged flyers, it seems, are the scourge of airline travel, after seatback kickers emerged as the most annoying type of airline passenger in a newly released report.

According to Expedia's Airplane Etiquette Study, 67% of the 1,000 US travellers polled cited rear seat kickers as their biggest pet peeve, surpassing last year's most annoying flyer, the inattentive parent, the kind who lets their kids run wild in the aisles and throw temper tantrums in the middle of the in-flight meal.

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The findings come as unfortunate news for taller flyers who, through no fault of their own, are forced to cram their knees up against the seat in front of them due to overpacked cabin designs and shrinking leg room.

After seatback kickers and inconsiderate parents, smelly seatmates (be it overpowering perfumes or poor hygiene), the 'audio insensitive' (those who play their music too loudly) and the 'boozer' round out the top five most annoying types of passengers.

Interestingly, despite dominating headlines this year and forcing three separate flights to divert due to onboard scuffles, seatback reclining was cited by just 37% of respondents as the most offensive onboard behavior, placing it ninth on the list.

In one of the incidents, the seatback war involved the use of the Knee Defender, a controversial device that allows users to prevent the seat in front of them from reclining.

When it comes to seatback behavior, the Expedia report also found a few interesting trends. While men are more likely than women to recline their seats, about one-third of American flyers said they recline to sleep.

More than half (55%) said they don't bother asking permission from the passenger behind them before reclining and 12% said they recline immediately after take-off.

About a fifth of flyers reported having experienced discomfort due to a reclining seat, and 38 percent said the practice should be banned or restricted.

Meanwhile, this fall the seatback recliner topped another survey by, dubbed 'Passengers Who Make Your Flight Hell.'

Want to be the ideal flyer? Try not to be any of these offenders, identified by Expedia's Airplane Etiquette Study:

1. Rear Seat Kicker: cited by 67% of study respondents
2. Inattentive Parents: 64%
3. The Aromatic Passenger: 56%
4. The Audio Insensitive (talking or music): 51%
5. The Boozer: 50%
6. Chatty Cathy: 43%
7. Carry-On Baggage Offenders: 39%
8. The Armrest Hog: 38%
9. Seat-Back Guy (the seat recliner): 37%
10. The Queue Jumper (rushes to deplane): 35%
11. Overhead Bin Inconsiderate (stows bag in first available spot, rather than nearest to his/her seat): 32%
12. Pungent Foodies: 32%
13. Back Seat Grabber: 31%
14. Playboy (reads or watches adult content): 30%
15. The Amorous (inappropriate affection levels): 29%
16. Mad Bladder (window seat passenger who makes repeat bathroom visits): 28%
17. Undresser (removes shoes, socks or more): 26%
18. The Seat Switcher: 13%