How to Annoy Everyone on Your Next Flight

If you are looking for some quick and easy ways to irritate and aggravate everyone on your next flight, please follow these easy steps. For maximum effect, be sure to implement these tactics on a long-haul flight.

1. Encourage children to scream as loudly as possible.  The act of traveling with small children, in itself, is not going to irritate anyone. Millions do it every year and it usually doesn’t bother anyone. However, to take it up a notch and really start provoking anyone within 10 rows of your family, encourage your kids to behave as badly as possible. There is no need to reprimand them for screaming continuously for 6 hours since everything a kid does is cute, right? In fact, tell them they are being good so that they think their tantrums are actually the preferred method of behavior.

Optional: While the children are screaming, don’t stop them from climbing over the seatbacks around them. This will surely send the person in front of you into apoplectic fits.

2. Get drunk and belligerent.

3.  Do not take into account anyone else’s comfort. Rather than determine if the person behind you is very tall or using their tray table, randomly and without warning recline your seat as far as possible. To further aggravate, make sure the person behind you is really tall and that you have no intention of sleeping, you merely wanted to experience that dramatic 3 inches of recline.

4.  Act surprised when boarding the plane. Rather than organize your belongings prior to embarkation, act totally shocked that you are flying somewhere and will actually need to remove items from your bag in order to use them. Please make sure to enter the plane and stand in the aisle for as long as possible, rooting through your bag like a sow on the trail of an elusive truffle. If you take enough time, the flight attendants may visit with you, which is always super fun.

5. Whack people in the head with your carryon bags as you board the plane.

6. Similarly to number three, act completely surprised that the plane has landed. After the requisite pronouncements of shock, again repeat the practice of organizing your belongings at the last minute and in the aisle. Being detained after a 9 hour flight will quickly send people over their boiling points.

See, it’s not that difficult to annoy an entire planeload of people. Follow these steps and you too can become a horrible traveler.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

23 thoughts on “How to Annoy Everyone on Your Next Flight”

  1. Haha! Matt, this had me laughing out loud at work. I love it. You’ve captured all these instances so perfectly, too!

    To go along with number 3, you should also be sure to hog all the armrests, splay your legs out into the aisle and your neighbor’s legroom, and then fall asleep on them (this works best when your neighbor is a complete stranger). Extra points for snoring and drooling.

    1. Haha some extremely funny reading and some good additions.

      Also insist on talking to your neighbor when they’ve got headphones on and comment on what they’re doing (eg. the movie they’re watching, what’s on their laptop screen, etc).

      This happened to me on a 14 hour flight, it was painful!

  2. Pffft. So funny. Love it.

    A former boss of mine has three little kids, and when they fly, he apologizes in advance by handing out $5 Starbucks gift cards to everyone around them! Wish more people were that considerate.

  3. Hilarious.

    Just came up with two more over the weekend:

    1. Bragging about your high powered job/money/fame when sitting in business class via loud phone conversation or to your neighbor.
    2. Listening to your head phones so loud that I know you love everything Diana Ross.

    1. LOL, love the Diana Ross bit. Last week I had someone behind me who didn’t understand that you don’t have to pound the personal TV to make selections. Every 5 minutes while trying to sleep he’d punch the TV

  4. Hahaha, great post Matt. I personally like the people who jump up IMMEDIATELY after the seatbelt sign goes off after the plane lands, regardless of whether or not they’re in the middle or back of the plane, and just stand, waiting impatiently as if they had NO IDEA that everyone else in front of them gets to exit the plane first. I know those people are very important and where they need to go takes priority over everyone else. God I really do hate flying. I’ll take a bus or train or car any time if it’s feasible. People just lose their freaking minds when they enter an airport, like it’s the most foreign thing in the world.

  5. I’d like to add an addition to #2:

    Board the plane already buzzed, then proceed to get hammered. Then start receiving text messages (?!?) about your daughter wrecking someone else’s car and swearing up a storm for 2 hours. Then, once you’re allowed to make phone calls, scream so loudly that you want to talk to your daughter through the phone that the person YOU are calling hears them and thinks you’re in a hostage situation.

  6. I love it when people jump when the plane lands and then the captain says we have to wait for a stand to become free. Ten minutes later people are still standing…

  7. The last two times I’ve flown, I’ve been one of the “standers”….but in both instances I had to literally sprint through the airport at landing a) to catch a connecting flight and b) to catch a bus so I could see my bf asap. I caught the flight, however the bus was fully booked. I sat panting for a good 10 minutes while quietly seething that I had to wait another 40 minutes. Grr.

    On the plus side, from leaving the plane at Incheon Airport, I was out of baggage claim & immigration & customs in not even 15 mins. Nice work, Korea!

    The recliners annoy me the most. I proceed to cough violently in the direction of the offender which usually gets them to return their seat to its former position.

    Being incessantly quizzed on Manchester’s weather on a flight from Istanbul. I’m not even from Manchester and my reply of simply “it’s the UK” to each of his questions in order to explain the groggy weather in August did nothing except confuse the poor guy (but it made the woman next to me chuckle).

  8. To add to the last minute organization of things- make sure you put your purse or personal item in the overhead bin and then try to access it when you want a piece of gum or a sweater.

    As for the kids, I always feel for those people, but you need to reprimand your kids and be as prepared as possible. As an former preschool teacher, bad parenting makes my skin crawl. I can make a 3 year old listen to reason, if you are a parent, you should be able to as well.

  9. hahahaha number 5!!! :) I have a fear to I might do that to other people so I always do that last, when people clear out. And I always sit at window seat, so that’s easy to do.
    Hilarious! :)

  10. Great list.

    I’d also list those that immediately switch on their mobile phones on landing, you can hear beeps from all over as they turn it on.

    I’ve even been on 30 minute flights and they do this!

  11. Hahahahaha! So true! It is so fun when the attendant visits you! :) They’re just so chatty and sweet! :) Nice people. Do anything you can to get a chance to talk with them! :)

  12. Don’t bathe for a very long time before a flight. On an overnight to Costa Rica, my seat mate reeked so bad my eye brows were singed off. On alighting the plane, the middle aged couple in front of us told me they ought to give me a free flight for enduring that bloke.

  13. Ha love it. How about when you get the luxury of an empty seat next to you so you can sleep across them one reclines both seats. That way the person sat directly behind the empty seat who thought they wouldn’t have a problem with no 3 now has to make do with less room just so your leg can be a little bit more comfy! Go on you deserve it!

  14. Merav @ AllWays Car Rental NZ

    What a great list Matt. If you try it all on one flight the airline might need to ban you from flying…

  15. Nadia | Gap Daemon

    I’d like to be crude and add… fart lots. I barely got through a 13-hour (delayed on runway) flight from China with my sanity intact, as the guy sitting next to me farted loudly and indulgently throughout the entire thing. It stank.

  16. Second Paul’s comment about mobile phones. Especially as all that beeping is just the standard message telling you how unbelievably expensive it is to make a call in your destination country. But man those people like to feel important and pretend it’s the president sending an SMS or something.
    Booking a window seat when you are planning to drink the entire trip with the resultant frequency of having to use the bathroom is also pretty selfish…

  17. It seems that whenever I go on a plane I have No. 3 tattooed on my forehead. I’m 6’3” and I usually don’t mind bending my legs on an imaginary third section, but I think I might add “oh, and don’t bother asking” to that tattoo just in case. Haha.

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