Would you rather sit next to a screaming child or an overweight passenger on a flight? It seems that most Brits would prefer to be placed beside a noisy youngster for the duration of a plane journey, a new survey has revealed.
Flight comparison website Jetcost.co.uk found that 32 per cent of Britons would least like to be sat next to an obese passenger as they don't want them encroaching into the seat space.
The poll found that 57 per cent of British travellers find themselves seated away from their party during a flight, while hoping they don't find themselves next to an obese person or a screaming child.
While overweight passengers were the least favoured, screaming children followed closely with 29 per cent and people with poor hygiene was third in the list of people Brits would not like to be sat next to on a flight. Someone scared of flying (17 per cent) and someone who doesn't stop talking for the whole flight (16 per cent) were also unpopular flight companions.
Delving a little deeper, the website asked Brits why they would not like to sit next to someone they considered to be overweight or obese, with the majority of respondents, 73 per cent, stating they wanted their seat space to themselves without having someone encroach into their space, as well as having their own.
European travellers were also asked the same question, with respondents from Spain (26 per cent) and France (23 per cent) agreeing that they'd least like to be seated next to an overweight passenger, while the most popular response from Italy was 'a screaming child' (18 per cent) and from German respondents, it was 'someone who doesn't stop talking' (16 per cent).
The website surveyed 2,548 British adults and 1,000 European adults.
Antoine Michelat, co-founder of Jetcost.co.uk, told AOL Travel: "We've always thought that screaming babies on a flight were the most annoying, but people are getting much better at coping with this situation as they understand that babies are babies and there's nothing that can be done to soothe them on a flight when their ears pop, or the air conditioning gets too much for them.
"Some companies are already looking into introducing a section on their planes for people over a certain weight, and while this is a good thing for those who don't want to find someone using their own seat and half of theirs too, it does run the risk of fat-shaming those who can't necessarily control their weight."
Who would you least like to sit next to on a flight? Tell us below.
Silliest ever passenger requests
Brits prefer screaming children to obese passengers on flights
Yes, according to a survey of Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew, this is the most frequent mad request they get... seems that a worrying number of us have a lot to learn when it comes to the basic science of aviation...
Speaking about their weirdest passenger requests to Cabincrew.com, one steward said a passenger was worried about Heathrow Airport being so close to Windsor Castle as the plane was coming into London and asked if cabin crew could arrange for the planes not to fly over the castle in the future in case the Queen found it a nuisance. What a thoughtful flyer!
One Virgin Atlantic crew member was asked by a very famous celebrity, who pressed their call bell, to fix their hair. The flight attendant agreed to the unusual request and headed back to the galley to get a hair brush, comb and small can of hairspray. When he returned armed with the hairdressing equipment, the star roared with laughter and explained it was the AIR they wanted fixed and pointed overhead! The poor steward turned on the air vent and crept back to the galley. Cringe...
Er, we're hoping the passenger was't serious about this request. Another passenger asked: "Please can the captain stop the turbulence?".
While flying into Nice in the South of France, one cheeky passenger asked a stewardess if the pilot could 'go a bit further down the coast so we can have a look at Monaco,' she told Cabincrew.com
We know they have some luxurious cabins but we would have liked to see the face of the flight attendant who was asked by a passenger where they could take a shower on a Virgin Atlantic flight.
A playroom, indeed. Sometimes, passengers appear to forget they're 30,000ft in the air.
Yes, someone really did ask a Virgin flight attendant this question.
A stewardess told Cabincrew.com that a traveller asked her: 'Why am I getting such a poor mobile phone signal? This flight is going to be really long and I’ll be bored if I can’t use my smart phone.' Oh dear!
One steward told flight attendants' forum Cabincrew.com that one cheeky passenger asked them to get his blanket. He said: 'I once got asked mid flight if I could nip down into the hold and get a passenger his blanket out of his suitcase. After a full description of the bag I then explained this wasn't possible, to which he insisted he was going to go instead.'
This request may have been understandable if it came from a three-year old. But it didn't. It came from a fully grown adult.
This strange request came from a passenger on another Virgin flight... we're still trying to find out if said object was ever found....
Brits prefer screaming children to obese passengers on flights
We've heard of vomiting bugs in hotels and cruises but rarely on a plane. On a flight from Chile to Sydney in August 2013, 26 passengers became violently ill with gastroenteritis after celebrating at a festival in Brazil and picking up the bug before boarding the plane. Some of the passengers were taken to hospital once the plane landed in Sydney and the plane had to be quarantined and disinfected upon arrival. This is one flight we're really glad we weren't on as the Boeing 747-400 only had eight toilets and the group developed vomiting and diarrhoea.
When you're on a long (and pricey) trans-Atlantic flight, the one thing you don't want to happen is for the plane to run out of toilet paper. Unlucky for passengers on a United Airlines flight from London to San Francisco in June 2013, the toilets ran low on tissue after the airline forgot to restock its supply. The passengers were forced to use cocktail napkins instead of loo paper when nature called and were allegedly told to use what they had brought on board for the 10-hour flight. That's one way for an airline to find itself deep in poo!
We all hate flight delays and even a few hours can leave us peeved, but holidaymakers on a Monarch Airlines plane from Tenerife were stranded on the Canary Island for a whopping 50 hours in August 2012 when their plane suffered a fault. The crew discovered a problem with the door hatch and asked passengers to get off the plane and wait for three hours. They then spent another hour on the plane before being put up in a hotel. A replacement plane eventually flew them to Birmingham.
When a pilot accidentally locked himself in the toilet of a New York-bound flight in 2011, he ended up causing a mid-air 'terror' panic too. When a well-meaning passenger heard the pilot trying to get out of the loo, he offered to help. The pilot asked the man to go to the cockpit and inform the crew of the situation, but the co-pilot was completed spooked by the man's "thick Middle Eastern" accent and refused to let him in, calling a state of emergency. Fighter planes were alerted at the arrival airport and the co-pilot was told to "just get on the ground". When he managed to break out of the toilet the pilot assured air traffic control that there was no threat. But the FBI still waited to meet the plane when it landed and spoke to the poor passenger who just wanted to help.
If you're a non-smoker, you won't be able to think of anything worse than a smoker lighting up a cigarette next to you on a flight. Three Canadian passengers on a Sunwing flight did just that in February 2013 - even though smoking has been banned on aircrafts for more than 15 years. And what's more, they refused to put their cigarettes out and ended up diverting the flight, which was travelling from Halifax to the Dominican Republic, to Bermuda. When the plane landed, their passports were seized by police, while the other passengers continued their journey.
There are times when the pilots are up against nature and have absolutely no control over a situation, such as when lightning strikes. In January 2013, a Turkish Airlines flight carrying 114 passengers was struck by lightning. A passenger filmed the incident, which saw sparks from the plane's engine as it caught fire and the cabin lights flickering on and off. Fortunately, despite the plane catching fire mid-air, it made a safe emergency landing and no-one was injured.
One emergency landing is enough but could you handle two on one flight? That's what "terrified" passengers on a British Airways flight from Saudi Arabia to London endured in August 2013. First the plane was delayed for five hours and in the air for about 40 minutes before making an emergency landing because of a problem with the plane's wing flaps. Then the next day when the passengers boarded the same plane, the problem reoccurred and the flight was aborted a second time. Passengers were reportedly "physically sick and crying" during the landings as the plane had to circle the desert to dump around 20 tonnes of fuel to be the correct weight to land safely.
If the sound of babies crying on a flight is disruptive enough to your journey, you certainly wouldn't have enjoyed the American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York, which saw an "unruly" passenger repeatedly sing Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. We've watched the video and the woman is no Whitney Houston! She ended up being handcuffed and removed from the flight - but not before putting the other passengers off Whitney's music for life!
Thought a naughty child kicking your chair was bad? In August 2013, 30 adults created the flight from hell when they ran riot on a Ryanair flight from Prestwick to Ibiza, swearing, threatening and even sexually harassing crew in front of other holidaymakers, including families with young children. The men were warned by police about their behaviour before boarding but this didn't stop their drunken rampage, which saw them shouting and jumping on the seats too.