How to Deal with an Annoying Airplane Passenger

It’s the flight from hell and you’ve been seated next to “that person” on the plane. As much as you’d just like to punch him/her in the face, restrain yourself and instead learn how you can make it through the flight without landing in airport jail for aggression.


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    Talk to the flight attendant. Instead of whining and complaining, be cool and take a humorous approach to the situation. You want to win over the flight attendant so he or she moves you to a different location on the plane (if at all possible).
    • Offer suggestions. Instead of standing there with arms folded, ask the flight attendant if you can move to an open seat you see in the back or possibly change seats with the passenger’s spouse or child (especially if that’s the issue).
    • Be polite. If the flight attendant has no options and you will have to power through the flight, don’t take it out on him/her. If the flight attendant already has one unruly passenger you don’t need to become the second. Keep your cool and remember your manners. Thank the flight attendant for trying--who knows, in flight a solution could come up and your calm demeanor could put you in a position to move.
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    Do what you can to make the situation easier for you. In some cases it become a pissing match between you and another passenger--doing this isn’t worth your time or state of mind. Instead of getting down to the other passenger’s level do what you can to defuse the situation.
    • Try to make space for another passenger’s bag if he/she complains. If your bag is taking up a lot of room and the other passenger’s bag isn’t fitting, instead of folding your arms and getting annoyed, simply move your bag over or show a concerted effort to accommodate everyone.
    • Take a breath and relax (take the high road). If the passenger in front of you reclines his/her seat and you are feeling a little squished, try to remember that you are only on this plane for a certain amount of time, breathe, visualize yourself elsewhere and try to meditate or even sleep. Getting upset over space won’t help you or the situation.
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    See if you have the solution. In the case where someone is constantly complaining about the air conditioning or the sound system and the flight attendant hasn’t helped to the passenger’s satisfaction, see if there is something you can do to help instead. Spending a few minutes hopefully resolving the problem can save you hours of whining and complaining.


  • Avoid becoming part of the problem. Never stoop to the other person’s level and become as angry or as annoying.
  • If you suspect the passenger is being annoying because he/she is intoxicated, notify the flight attendant immediately as airlines take passenger intoxication very seriously.


  • Never use physical force or intimidation on a flight. Even though it's the other guy being annoying, you could be the one in federal custody as a result.

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Categories: Air Travel