Passenger types

We identified 19 different types of passengers

Some of the passenger types illustrated:

The Personal Space Invader The sleeper The techies

 

The aisle clogger

“The aisle clogger” or “The Procrastinator” includes the passenger who does not notice the line of people behind them trying to get to their seats.  The passenger who finds their seat, puts their bag down, takes a few items out, stands in the aisle rearranging their bag before placing it in the overhead compartment, takes their coat off and eventually sits down.  This includes: the “person in the aisle seat who fastens their belt as soon as they sit down only to sigh loudly when having to unbuckle and stand up to let in the other passengers”; and the “person using a computer in the aisle seat who resents having to move when you need to go to the bathroom” also known as “Laptop aisle guy”. This also includes: the “wanderer” who cannot sit still even for the shortest of flights; the “headrest mangler” who touches every single row or every other row of headrests as they move down the cabin, or they randomly choose one to lean on; and the “Narcissistic movie blocker” who is travelling with friends and stands in the aisle between you and the movie you were trying to watch on the screen hanging from the ceiling.  In addition there is the “incessant luggage checker” who is not only annoying as they constantly get up and down every 10 minutes to retrieve or return something to their luggage in the overhead compartment, but when they are sat in the window seat this can be really frustrating.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Access to/movement in aisles

(-) Personal space

(-) Inconsiderate people

Crowe (2010); Hartsell (2008); Andrews (2010); Fodd (2007); Karenlyn (2009); Monten (2012); Goldman (2011); Kidman (2011); Kidman (2011)

 

The armrest hog

The “armrest hog” or “The armrest dominator” is the passenger who is oblivious to your need or even right also to share the armrest.  You see an elbow over the armrest and it feels like a direct violation of your personal space.  The armrest is merely a divider which is too narrow for two people to share but if this type of passenger is in the middle seat it is likely they will take both armrests.  The “armrest elitist” feels entitled to take your armrest for the entire journey. You may want to defend your territory in some way but you do not want to look petty.  The armrest hog may even have taken both armrests and in the worst case you may be in the middle of two hogs, leaving you with your arms pinned to your side.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Personal space

(-) Inconsiderate people

Monten (2012); Guese (2010)

 

The children

While there can be well behaved children on a flight, generally most people are fearful when they see children especially if they are sat anywhere near them.  The “screaming infant”, noisy kids, and small young children have high-pitched voices which can reverberate throughout the cabin, and while parents develop the ability to block their baby’s incessant screams, unfortunately the rest of the passengers cannot.  The most annoying types are those “loud, undisciplined kids”, the “ill-behaved child” or the “badly behaved kids flying alone” alone meaning that the parents are ignoring their behaviour.  This category also includes the “kicking kid” or “seat kicker child” who kicks your seat just as you are trying to relax, sleep or watch a movie. There is also the “screaming toddler” who can both implode your eardrums and kick the back of your seat for 6 hours straight.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Noise

(-) Personal space

(-) Inconsiderate people

Cronian (2009); Elliott (2012); Fodd (2007); Karenlyn (2009); Monten (2012); Guese (2010); Crompton (2008)

 

The complainer

“The complainer” or “The incessant complainer” is the passenger who demands a seat, snacks, drinks, and constantly uses the call button.  They often fidget, push the seat in front, flip the tray table up and down and roll their eyes.   Usually they have also paid the cheapest fares.  Also known as “Mr. Chronic Complainer” or “Mrs. Shrill Whiner”, they always find something to complain about, and are looking for some type of travel credit or compensation.  This includes “Dr. Surgeon T. Screamer” the passenger with a temper, who either loses control and is taken off the plane, or eventually calms down when he realizes that he is making a fool of himself in front of lots of people he has to spend another four hours with.  This category also includes the “coffee snob” who complains about way the coffee has been made.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Noise

(-) Inconsiderate people

Burns (2008); Crowe,  (2010); Elliott (2012); Kidman (2011); Keagle (2011)

 

The couples

This includes “Ma and Pa Kettle” or “the family who’ve never flown before” or who rarely travel, they do not have their passports ready, cannot find their tickets, cannot lock the lavatory door or find the light switch. While they can initially be delightful after a while their ignorance can be annoying.  The category includes certain members of the “Snowbird Family” who want special in-flight meals, do not like the brand of vodka, have allergies and speak really loudly.  Or the other type that burp, talk loudly and don’t care what seat they are in as long as it is cheap. There is also “the kissy couple” as depending if you are sat next to them or between them can make you feel like you really should not be intruding even though they don’t even care you are there.  This also includes: the “feral parents” or  “overindulgent parents” who do not stop their children from kicking the seat in front of them; the “free for all parent” or the “I have no control over my children and I know you’ll understand” who let their children run wild on the plane, turning the aisle into a playground and expect the flight attendants to look after them; and the “ breastfeeding Mum” who make some people feel uncomfortable not only because their baby may at any time projectile burp but that she will probably expose herself at any point too.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Inconsiderate people

(-) Noise

(-) Personal hygiene

(-) Personal space

Burns (2008); Crompton (2008); Crowe (2010); Andrews (2010); Elliott (2012) Kidman (2011); Monten (2012); Keagle (2011); Guese (2010)

 

The disease sharer

“The disease sharer”, “The cougher” or the “person who has a cold or allergies and sneezes and coughs all over you during the flight” is the passenger that most people dread sitting next to, especially the ones that do not cover their mouth while coughing, or sneeze all over your food and wipe their hand on their tray.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Illness

(-) Inconsiderate people

(-) Personal hygiene

Kidman(2011); Guese (2010); Goldman (2011)

 

The drinker

“The drinker”, “The drunk”, “The person who is drinking too much and making you nervous” or “I have a (drinking) problem with flying”  is the passenger who orders a cocktail as soon as the drink cart arrives, complains about the cost, drinks some more, and either ends up smashed, embarrassing themselves, or asleep snoring loudly.  This includes the “thirsties” who need a drink as soon as they board the plane and then need to use the toilets just as urgently.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Inconsiderate people

(-) Noise

(-) Access to/movement in aisles

Andrews (2010); Karenlyn (2009); Keagle (2011); Guese (2010); Goldman (2011)

 

The easy-going passenger

Also known as “Mr. Easy going”, this type of passenger is the one who is considerate to fellow passengers and air attendants and who understands that bad weather can cause delays and that it is not anyone’s fault.  They take everything in their stride so are more likely to get upgrades and treated well by the air attendants.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(+) Talking/interaction

(+) Personal space

(+) Activities

Burns (2008)

 

The ill-mannered

This is the type of passengers who ignores the instructions of the flight attendants and places their bags in the middle of the overhead compartments, and use their phone even after the flight attendant has asked them to turn it off.  Also known as “Mr. Stupid Pax”, pax being the airline’s short name for passenger, these are people who lose their tickets, forget their passports, arrive on the wrong day to take their flights and blame the airline for it.  This also includes: the “exit row violator” who is the passenger who just wants extra leg room but is not able to complete the instructions; the “trash collector” who puts their dirty tissues and other rubbish in inappropriate places; the “manner-less” who do not say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ and turn their noses up at meal choices rather than say ‘no thank you’; and the passenger who turns up late for the flight and ruins your dream of having an empty seat next to you for once.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(+) Talking/interaction

(+) Personal space

(+) Activities

Burns (2008)

 

The luggage hog

“The luggage hog”, “The hand luggage hog”, “The hoarder” or the “I think I’m above the carry-on bag rules” is the passenger who will do anything to avoid a checked bag and brings on too much hand luggage, or refuses to admit that their bag is too large to fit in the overhead compartment then complains that they cannot find a space and crush everyone else’s possessions.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Baggage storage

(-) Inconsiderate people

Crowe (2010), Hartsell (2008); Andrews (2010); Fiorella (2011); Kidman (2011)

 

The odour offender

In the small, confined space of the cabin, smells often seem amplified.   “The odour offender”, “the stinker” or “the smelly one” is the passenger who has foul body odour as they haven’t had a shower or maybe washed for weeks and do not believe in deodorant.  Or the passenger who has lots of cheap aftershave or perfume on or is the girl who is painting her nails beside you. This also includes: the “person with stinky food”, the “eater” or “foodie” who brings strong smelling food onto the plane or eats a tuna sandwich next to a fish-hater; the “farter” and the “incessant sleeping farter”; and “the one person on every single flight who seems to think their feet don’t stink when they take off their shoes”.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Personal hygiene/smells

(-) Inconsiderate people

Crowe (2010); Fiorella  (2011); Elliott (2012); Kidman (2011); Karenlyn (2009); Monten (2012); Guese (2010); Hartsell (2008); Fiorella (2011)

 

The oversize passenger

The “oversize passenger”, the “over eater” or the “fat person” evokes strong opinion as a passenger or as a seatmate.  The constant downsizing of the plane and seats can cause real discomfort as a larger passenger. They are required to take the armrest space, take some of your personal space and can force you against the window or into the aisle.  People are often not tolerant when their space is being taken

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Personal space

Crowe (2010); Fiorella (2011); Elliott (2012)

 

The personal space invader

“The personal space invader”, “The spreader” also known as “I don’t know the limits of my own seat” is the passenger who dominates the armrest, fidgets excessively and leaves the tray table down so people cannot go past.  They feel like they have the total right to spread out their arms and legs, bump knees, take the armrest and fall asleep on your shoulder.  This includes the

 “seat kickers” and “tray molester” who cannot leave the tray alone.  They continuously open and close it banging on the seat in front.  Also they tend to overstuff their magazine pouch and then spend time shuffling paper in and out.  There is also the “that seat next to you is for MY bag” who feel that they have territorial rights to the seat next to them. They will always have a rucksack or handbag which they must have next to them, encroaching on your space rather than placing it in the overhead compartment.  There is the “read over your shoulder passenger” who reads everything you write and is clearly nosy in real life, the type of neighbour who peeks out of the curtains.  They stop you working and reading and in the end the only thing you end up doing is staring out of the window.  Also the “I think this is a good spot to freshen up” passenger who as much as they like to think the armrest doubles up as an invisible shield from plucking, flossing, blowing, picking, wiping, it just is not.  The two and a half inch wide piece of rubber and plastic does not deflect any strays produced by your seatmate’s personal hygiene routine.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Personal space

(-) Inconsiderate people

(-) Activities

(-) Personal hygiene

Cronian (2009); Andrews (2010); Kidman (2011); Fodd (2007); Karenlyn (2009); Crompton (2008); Fodd (2007)

 

The recliner

The recliner or “The lounger”, also known as “The guy who still thinks it’s ok to recline in coach” is the passenger who even though they know everyone is cramped, still reclines their seat so that you cannot even go to the toilet.  “The recliners with a superiority complex” are known to recline their seats at the most inconvenient time, such as when you have your food or drink.  In the worst case scenario, behind you is a sweet old lady who you would not dream of reclining into.  “The seat pusher” is the passenger who pushes their seat as far back as it goes and takes their shoes off leaving you from next to no legroom to no legroom.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Reclining seat

(-) Personal space

(-) Inconsiderate people

Hartsell (2008); Karenlyn (2009); Crompton (2008); Guese (2010)

 

The self-important passenger

This category includes “The important first class passenger” or “Everyone in first class who do not deign to look at you when you board”, the type of passenger who looks down at people walking towards economy and does not believe that people with jeans should be in first class.  Also it includes: “Mrs. Haughty” and “Mr. Pompous” the passengers who talk down to the air attendants and treat them like they are subservient; and “Ms. New York” who is in a hurry, wants to get in and get out and take care of business with as little time wasted, quick to roll eyes and become irritable with any delay.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Inconsiderate people

Burns (2008); Crowe, (2010)

 

The sleeper

The sleeper, also known as the “guy who snores the entire flight” is the passenger who is either snoring loudly next to you or using you as a pillow. This includes the “I love aisle seats … and sleeping” passenger who knows they will be asleep for the whole journey and decides to sit in the aisle seat.  Nothing is more awkward than having to wake up a stranger, in particular if they’re a heavy sleeper.  It also includes the “fake sleeper” who is the passenger who quickly claims a window seat, spreads out their stuff and immediately closes their eyes to pretend they are asleep, so that people would be too embarrassed to ask them if they could have the seat next to them.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Noise

(-) Personal space

(-) Inconsiderate people

Hartsell (2008); Fodd (2007)

 

The talker

“The talker”, “The incessant talker”, “The chatty adult”, “The babbler”, “The person who won’t shut up” or “I’ll talk your ear off” is the passenger who will continue to talk to you even when you have closed your eyes, put on your headphones, started your laptop or opened your book. Also known as the “person who decides to make you a best friend by talking to you all night” or “Chatty-Cathy” who screams her life story so that all of the plane passengers have to hear it too.  This also includes: the “lonely heart” who wants to tell you about their tragic love life, the “ultra-paranoid racist” who thinks everyone is a terrorist; the “disaster guy”, who as soon as the plane starts begins telling crash stories; and “bombs are funny guy” who thinks it’s funny to make inappropriate jokes about bombs on a plane.  In this category there is the “know it all” or “the passenger who knows everything about the flight” who is the passenger you can hear even though you are not sat near them, with a theory on life and everything, and who has travelled more than the pilot so knows everything about the journey.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Talking/interaction

(-) Noise

(-) Activities

(-) Inconsiderate people

Andrews (2010); Fiorella (2011); Elliott, (2012); Kidman (2011); Karenlyn (2009); Monten (2012); Guese (2010); Goldman (2011); Crompton (2008); Fiorella (2011)

 

The techies

The techies include: the “gadget guy” or “smartphone addict” who insists that they are turning their phone off even though they are really texting; the “headphone wearer” who does not take their headphones off when the flight attendant is asking them a question and wonders why they cannot understand what they are being asked; the headphone wearer who plays their music so loud that all the other passengers can hear it; and the “portable DVD kid” who often discards the headphones so that all the plane can hear the latest high pitched children’s film.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Inconsiderate people

(-) Noise

Cronian (2009); Elliott (2012); Fodd (2007); Keagle (2011)

 

The toilet goer

The toilet goer, also known as “people with weak bladders” who spend most of their time walking up and down the aisles to go to the toilet.  It includes: the “person who makes you get out of your aisle seat all night to go to the bathroom” which can be frustrating if you are trying to sleep, eat or work; the “toilet crasher” who pushes passed others to get to the toilet; and the “drink cart tailgater” who lacks the ability to judge the appropriate time to enter the aisle and tailgates the drinks cart all the way to the annoyance of the air attendants.

Comfort and discomfort themes (+) denotes comfort and (-) discomfort

References

(-) Access to/movement in aisles

(-) Activities

(-) Inconsiderate people

Cronian (2009); Kidman (2011); Fodd (2007); Goldman (2011)

 

 

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  • Passenger Personas
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