What are your air travel pet peeves?

San Francisco Airport's Terminal 3.

There are many things about today’s air travel system that annoy the most patient people — passengers and airline employees alike. It’s easy to encounter rudeness on both sides. I’ve learned to block out most of the noise and avoid hassle or stress, but I realized during a trip this week that I have my own pet peeves list.

1. Passengers demanding upgrades from gate agents, because they are on a “full fare” or have elite status — except that their ticket’s booking class is nowhere near Y or B, and they have the lowest status level.

2. Airport lounge gatekeepers wrongly denying you access and insisting they are correct when you confront them with the actual rules. Worse yet, they find a supervisor who agrees with them — as if repeating a mistake twice makes it right.

3. Passengers trying to hide a bag they put on the floor of an exit row, not to be seen by the flight attendant who warned them that luggage is not allowed there.

4. Flight attendants holding your glass with their fingers on the rim — I don’t fancy putting my lips there, especially after I’ve seen the attendant running those fingers through her hair.

5. Passengers trying to talk to you when you are making it clear you’d rather be left alone.

6. Airline agents making up rules.

7. Passengers blaming the airline for ruining their trip, when whatever happened to them could have been avoided only if they had been better educated about the basic rules of airfares and tickets.

8. Flight attendants showing how much they dislike their job.

9. Passengers treating flight attendants like servants.

10. Passengers going to the lavatory without their shoes on — or without in-flight footwear provided by the airline in first and business class.

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One thought on “What are your air travel pet peeves?

  • My travel pet peeve is how hard it is to use frequent-flier miles! I recently booked two round-trip coach tickets to Germany on Continental, thinking that with my Gold status and plenty of miles to burn, I could easily upgrade using miles. Well, they would be glad to upgrade me for just 20,000 miles each leg… PLUS A $500 “SERVICE FEE” per leg, per person. $2000! I had a similar experience booking an award ticket last summer. Even with Gold status, I had to take a roundabout way to get to Spain and still used 110,000 miles.

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