Oblivious parents, body odor top list of travel irks

Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:48am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Tis the season of good will to all men -- apart from fellow travelers, according to a survey.

The online poll by TripAdvisor showed that 83 percent of 1,100 travelers believed air travelers had become ruder in the past decade, and 24 percent said travelers were even ruder during the holiday period.

But when it came to the most irritating fellow travelers, 59 percent said oblivious parents who let their children run wild were the most annoying air travelers, while 54 percent picked out travelers with offensive body odor.

People who reclined their seat on planes during the meal service and travelers who talked nonstop despite getting clear signals that conversation was not wanted were also on the annoying list.

"The people traveling with kids and the people traveling without them tend to be equally vocal about how annoying the other group is," said TripAdvisor spokeswoman Michele Perry.

"Perhaps it's due to more kids flying during the holidays - or, rather, more parents unaccustomed to flying with their kids taking to the air."

Travelers who talk on mobile phones at full voice while strolling through the airport, and people who were rude to airline staff also came close to the top of the list of rudest travelers.

The survey found that 80 percent of respondents thought allowing the use of mobile phones on planes would make people even ruder.

But most travelers were not afraid of speaking up when a fellow travelers was out of line with 68 percent of respondents saying they had asked another traveler to stop doing something rude.

But 35 percent said flight attendant should get involved when someone's bad behavior bothers several people.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Patricia Reaney)

<p>A video screen displays the view from atop the tail section of an Airbus A380 as it moves to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) before a two-hour test flight over Los Angeles November 29, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>