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MIAMI – Beware! December 19 is only two days away. OK, I think I know what you may be asking yourself; what is happening on December 19? That is a very valid question, and if you plan on traveling by air on Friday, I would recommend that you read on to find out.

Airlines for America (A4A) projects Friday, December 19 to the the busiest air travel day of the winter season, with just over 2.5 million passengers expected to take to the U.S. skies.

Although, air travel is a great mode of transportation, it can create a lot of pet peeves. Honeywell Aerospace recognizes that flying can be difficult, and it conducted an air travel survey in which it uncovered a mass of passenger pet peeves that plague millions of airline travelers each year.

Please take a moment to make sure that your seat belts are securely fasted because some of the results may seem a bit surprising.

First, let’s provide a quick background on the survey. Kelton, a global insight firm, conducted the survey on behalf of Honeywell. The survey answers consist of 1,041 answers from Americans ages 18 and over who have taken at least one flight in the last 12 months. They were invited to participate in the survey via an email invitation between November 14 and 24, 2014.

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Now, Let’s Get to the Good Stuff.


92% of those surveyed admitted that taking to the skies during the holiday season would be stressful, and for some, air travel during the holidays is so stressful and daunting that they would skip time-honored traditions just to avoid it.

  • 57% said they would give up watching their favorite holiday parade to dodge flying.
  • 31% said they would give up one of their holiday presents to avoid braving the holiday airport rush.
  • More than 25% said they would give up connecting with loved ones from afar on social media (27%) or taking pictures of holiday festivities (27%).

Air travel is daunting for a variety of reasons, but sometimes its not frequent delays, lost baggage, or the recycled air that would cause somebody to avoid air travel. Sometimes, people will avoid air travel because other passengers make it difficult.

In the movie Up in the Air, Ryan Bignham’s (played by George Clooney) sister tells Ryan: “You’re awfully isolated the way you live.” His response: “Isolated? I’m surrounded.” Even if one is traveling by air alone, they are surrounded, and for 70% of those surveyed, it’s difficult to accept other passengers’ faults.

  • Nearly three in ten expressed that they would most want to avoid “the arguer” while dealing with the challenging baggage and security check lines, while others say this about “the line-cutter” (17 percent) or “the disorganized traveler” (15 percent).
  • Plug your nose. The No. 1 in-flight passenger attribute Americans most want to avoid is “the smelly traveler” (41 percent).
  • Emitting unpleasant smells is also the quickest way to become the most unwanted airline seatmate, with passing gas (64 percent) and not wearing deodorant (60 percent) considered top passenger blunders.

For some travelers, a big pet peeve is being stuck next to a little one, especially when they misbehave or cry the entire flight. 37% of those surveyed believe children should have a designated section of the aircraft on flights lasting more than two hours; 40% of women feel this way, compared with 31% of men.

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  • Seventy-two percent consider confronting a fellow traveler who was not stopping their child from kicking their seat.
  • Twenty-nine percent who have done something in response to a child issue on their flight have been so bold as to ask a parent to reprimand their child.
  • Forty-five percent think all passengers should get free ear plugs in the case of a screaming baby.

So, how does one survive the unfriendly skies? Should they say something to an airline/airport employee? According to the survey, 53% said they have done something to combat the pet peeves that are brought along with air travel.

Some experienced flyers shared some of their secrets to surviving on-board disturbances.

  • Many have taken direct action by asking a flight attendant to fix the issue (43%) or confronting a passenger who was causing a disturbance (27%).
  • Two in five (40%) have asked to move to another seat, escaping the situation in a civil manner, and 30% admit to taking a sedative or sleeping pill to dull their own reaction to the disturbance.

After Honeywell compiled all of the survey results, it wants to remind air travelers to remember to “Keep Calm and Fly On With Honeywell.”

The company wants the 41% that want to stay away from the “smelly traveler” to know that “Honeywell technology keeps your flight comfortable and clean by refreshing the air on a plane 25−30 times an hour, which is more often than a train, hospital or office building.” Additionally, its wants the 26% “that get annoyed by canceled or delayed flights, Honeywell provides numerous pieces of technology to airlines, including 3-D weather radar that helps airplanes avoid hail, lightning and turbulence while flying; and advanced airport technology that enables more planes to land during times of peak travel, congestion or bad weather, thereby reducing delays and keeping things on time.”

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Although, Honeywell has a lot of great solutions to help air travelers
cope with these pet peeves this holiday season, we do need to account for the small percentage of people that do not get annoyed by air travel at all. As Ryan Bingham says: “All the things you probably hate about travelling -the recycled air, the artificial lighting, the digital juice dispensers, the cheap sushi- are warm reminders that I’m home.”