Britons Would Rather Share a Flight With Rowdy Hen/Stag Parties & Crying Babies Than a Political Preacher


New research by an online flight comparison company has revealed that one in four Britons have experienced a flight where someone has made fellow passengers uncomfortable. According to the poll, three fifths would hate to find themselves sat next to someone on a flight who is keen to express their political views and generate a discussion or debate.

Following the news of Brexit and the upcoming General Election, British travellers have revealed they’d rather sit near a screaming child than a political preacher on a flight. Two respondents even stated that they’ve seen someone removed from a flight where their opposing views caused tension with fellow passengers.

The team at undertook the survey as part of an ongoing study into British experiences of flying. 2,411 Britons aged 18 and over, all of whom stated that they had flown at least once in the past 12 months, were quizzed about their specific experiences with other passengers on plane journeys.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘Have you ever been on a flight where fellow passengers made the atmosphere uncomfortable for others?’ to which a quarter of respondents, 24%, stated that ‘yes’ they had. When asked to expand on the kind nuisance fellow travellers had caused, the most common were revealed as ‘being drunk and disorderly’ (21%), ‘having loud or screaming children’ (18%) and ‘refusing to follow the on-board ruled and regulations’ (14%).

All respondents were then asked ‘If you were sat next to someone who made you feel particularly uncomfortable, would you approach a member of cabin crew to enquire about a seat change?’ to which 71% of respondents stated that ‘yes’ they would.

Wanting to delve a little deeper, all respondents were then asked who they’d least like to find themselves sat next to on a flight. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the top five responses were as follows:

  • Someone openly sharing controversial political views – 61%
  • A rowdy hen/stag party – 43%
  • A screaming baby/toddler – 38%
  • Someone scared of flying – 24%
  • An obese person – 22%

According to the poll, 67% stated that they have seen videos online where passengers have been confronted over their political beliefs and don’t believe a flight is either the time or place to have that discussion/debate. A further 2 respondents stated that they’d seen someone removed from a flight because a discussion about politics had escalated.

Wanting to determine if this was common place amongst Europeans, particularly with the Brexit talks taking place, the poll surveyed 1,000 Europeans, with a 25% split across four different countries; Spain, Germany, Italy and France. All respondents were asked who they deemed the worst person to end up sat next to on a flight, to which the responses were:

  • France – an obese person (34%)
  • Germany – someone keen on sharing their political views (30%)
  • Italy – a screaming child (17%)
  • Spain – an obese person (16%)

A spokesperson for commented:

“What’s going on with politics right now is a hot topic for many people; whether it’s who is going to win the general election that’s taking place in June or what’s going to happen to the UK now Brexit is in full swing. Either way, everyone is entitled to their opinion and a flight is definitely not the time or place to push your views on others, or even attack them for feeling differently to you.”