This Is the No. 1 Pet Peeve for Travelers, According to a New Survey

Please don't sneeze on me.

<p>Solstock/Getty Images</p>

Solstock/Getty Images

We all have them. Little pet peeves that drive us wild. For some, it’s hearing another person loudly smack their gum or slurp soup at a restaurant. For others, it’s a partner who never closes the kitchen drawers or puts down a toilet seat. Pet peeves really can vary from person to person, but according to a new report by, travelers seem to share many of the same peeves.

For its annual State of Travel report, Going surveyed thousands of travelers to find out the biggest trends for 2024 travel and what experiences we’re all looking forward to most. It even asked respondents for their biggest gripes when it comes to their fellow travelers. And, according to the results, it all comes down to the sniffles.

“Covid may not be keeping people from traveling anymore, but if another passenger is openly sick with a cough or cold symptoms — and not wearing a mask! — 27 percent of people say that’s the worst offense you can commit in air travel right now,” the findings noted. Other peeves like “Not using headphones to listen to music,” which 15 percent of respondents said was their biggest peeve, along with “messing with the seat in front of you, or reclining at inopportune times,” also topped the list.

“For all of the joys travel brings, it can also leave us exasperated, and much of that has to do with personal space,” Katy Nastro, a travel expert at Going, told Travel + Leisure. “Being from New York, I'm used to feeling cramped (hello, someone's armpit on the subway!), but there is a genuine sardine quality on an airplane that can heighten some too-close-for-comfort moments.”

One more pet peeve the crew at Going also agree on is “when people move through the cabin and place their hand awkwardly close to your face when grabbing the headrest. You're falling asleep, and then the next thing you know, there's a strange hand coming for your ear. Not fun, but also not a reason to start a fight on the plane,” Nastro added.

​​Other minor but equally loathsome behaviors to make the list include “taking shoes off” and “hogging the middle armrest,” which 6 percent of travelers noted as their biggest peeves, while 7 percent noted “standing up as soon as the flight lands” as their ultimate irk.

Somehow, just 3 percent of travelers noted “talking when you clearly don’t want to engage” as their biggest pet peeve. (And reader, that three percent is me.)

Check out all the pet peeves, and the entire State of Travel report, at

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