an airplane window with wing and sky

What is it with people on planes?

As creepy as it may well and truly sound, life on long haul flights really is all about sleeping with strangers. The rem cycle kind of sleep, not the… other kind. In the eternal quest for getting rest, while maintaining some form of decency and etiquette, British Airways has published the results of an extensive survey for how to sleep next to strangers… on planes, and all the other grey areas too.

a bed with pillows and a purse on itShoes & Socks

Is it ok for you or your seat mate to take off shoes or socks in flight? 57% of people say shoes are cool to come off, but a compelling 89% (we think 100%, really) agree that socks should NEVER come off. Let’s all remember to wear our freshest socks, ok? Jet lag is bad enough without the smell of old cheese. Right?

Arm Rests

While we at GSTP feel that flying economy is much like the hit television show Game Of Thrones: divide, conquer and ask for forgiveness later- fortunately, the world has a much kinder view. 67% of passengers surveyed believe you should only take one armrest, leaving the other for another passenger. How thoughtful. We suggest landing a whole row, and forgetting politeness.

Waking People Up

Don’t you love the moment you finally doze off to sleep, only to be woken up by a seat mate headed down the aisle? No, no one has ever said that. Much to our surprise, 80% of passengers felt that it’s ok to wake your seat mate once during the flight to use the restroom, but only 40% think it’s ok more than once. Remember- dirty looks are free of charge on all flights.

Friend Or Foe

Don’t let the Statue of Liberty or McDonalds welcoming golden arches fool you. According to surveys, Americans are the most offended by seat mate conversation, dreading it to the max. But in a shocking twist- nearly half of French passengers surveyed believe air travel is a great way to meet people. That’s why we suggest great quality noise cancelling headphones for all budgets.

If that’s not enough, there’s a hilarious video of people being interviewed for the survey.


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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