Airline complaints: Which bothers you the most?

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Leg room. Economy shouldn't mean discomfort.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Not just the legroom, but general comfort. There isn't much.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

How about all of the above? However, the thing that bothers me the most is: Rude or indifferent flight attendants.

It's also the criterion I use to pick my restaurants, bars, travel destinations and pretty much everthing else.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Lack of leg room coupled with the seat in front being reclined into my face.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Rude and indifferent flight attendants on every U.S. carrier I've used over the last 30 years or so has been the norm. It's why I refuse to use them in cases where I pay for the flights now and I'll pay a bit extra to avoid them.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Leg room.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ditto the leg room. And the lovely caste system at work.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Other: drunk pilots...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Rude and indifferent flight attendants on every U.S. carrier I've used over the last 30 years or so has been the norm.

Mixed bag, that one. I found Pan Am (old school!) to be delightful back in the day and in recent times, other airlines have been friendly or rude. Depends on the day they're having, unfortunately. Customs and all that, not so friendly.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, I see I've joined the 35%, by far the most popular complaint, who have an issue with the lack of legroom in cattle class.

My next complaint would be the rude or indifferent flight attendants. Will never forget a Delta flight attendant's answers to my two questions -

Q. What is the best thing about your job?

A. ( I swear I'm not making this up ) Days off.

Q. What is the worst thing about your job?

A. ( I swear I am not making this up ) Talking to passengers.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Whoever designed and whoever implemented the sliding seat when you lean back. They did this to save room and this is the cause of the discomfort.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fat people sitting next to me. If you can’t fit into your seat.... either buy two or stay home and eat some doughnuts! I’d like airlines to weigh bags and people.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Rude, indifferent, noisy and drunk passengers. I always take the overnight flight to Sydney. At least you get a little sleep. I couldn't imagine taking the all day flight.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

mob mentality sets in and on plane people hog overhead bins

On one American Airlines flight someone had stuffed an overhead bin so full the male flight attendant couldn't get it closed, and oh man, did he ever get pissed, going into a rant... "If you people had followed my instructions, we wouldn't have this situation..." I had to put my head down and cover my mouth with both hands to muffle the laughter.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If there was a bridge from USA to Japan, I'd drive. Might take me two months, but I'd be in my own car, I loathe flying that much. This is my 52nd year flying...I a geezer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@GyGene No worries, in 12 years you can take AOC's train across the Pacific!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Truthfully, I fly JAL and I haven't any real complaints.

MOF, I book so far in advance, that I get the same flights and seats.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Where's the 'nothing' option? I haven't had anything bother me on a flight in decades. I know it's not going to be very comfortable, there's going to be lines and crowds and there's going to be people around me that I'm not going to like. I prepare for it and I let it go because I know what is waiting for me at my destination.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Besides all the above, generally the experience from reaching one airport to departing the final airport.

Security checking.

Personally I find being in the plane cathartic: there is nothing I can do about anything. From there relative discomfort kick in, felt worst on low-cost carriers.

Or, am I just past the firt-time flying thrill of youth?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I was once sitting in an economy class seat (internationally) so tight, the 182cm man in front of me couldn't recline his seat back because my legs (I'm 172) were squished against his chair back the whole way, keeping his chair moving at all... very uncomfortable full flight. Took the same flight, same airline back, and it was 1/3 full. Had a whole row to myself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've not had much of any complaints flying within Japan. Most of the time (depending on the time of year) no problems, and somewhat smooth sailing through security. Just make sure you take your electronics out ahead of time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Filthy toilets. I understand you can’t have a regular bog on a plane, but surely someone can come up with something better than plane toilets which, erm, leave a lot of souvenirs.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I voted for the delays. I've had some really bad experiences with missing connection flights, or missing important meetings because of delayed or cancelled flights. Second is long check in lines, but I usually go early so the line is not that bad; long lines at passport control or security check are sometimes crazy though. I am not a big guy, and I fit into the economy seat; then give me beer and movies, and time will somehow pass. The wine and food are usually crap, but so is the combini bento. I use Japanese airlines mostly, so no problems with the flight attendants.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'll add, for me, I'm only referring to international flights from USA to anywhere else! Heck, I've flown so much all over the world, I can about hang on a wing for these piddling 2-4 hour flights. And, yes, the Asian airlines are the best.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Better to replace flight attendants with robots.. Robots since the 80s can serve stuff on trays:


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

People who complain about infants/children on flights and act as of they don't belong on a flight bother me the most. Everyone has the right to fly.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

People who complain about infants/children 

They used to put smokers in a special section. Why don't they do the same with infants and their parents?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

They used to put smokers in a special section. Why don't they do the same with infants and their parents?

They do, it's called economy. Fly business or first, and you don't have to deal with it.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The attitude and unfairness of Air hostess or stewardess.

They walk around at the airport like as if they are top celebrities but on a plane, they work like waitresses.

Plus, the job is for those who got the heights, but those petite girls, they work as waitress at cafe and they are never looked on same way as those air hostess.

Air Hostess - High Class (why?)

Waitress - Normal/low Class

But the job is same.

And the waitress doesn't even have to sleep in the tiny kitchen during the owl nights.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The poll answers should have included All of the above.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While leg room is extremely important as a fat man I would like to see more ass room too!

5 ( +5 / -0 )


I fly business. So I never have the leg room problem and the menu is pretty good.

Though on the whole, service is not as good all around, AND airfares are ridiculously priced.

The biggest worry is SAFETY . . .


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Departure delays are annoying, but sometimes can't be helped (like with weather). What bugs me about them is when it's obvious they are delaying or cancelling flights because they don't have enough tickets sold, or when a pilot's drunk, like with JAL and ANA.

Still, I voted fuel surcharge and other taxes they gouge you with. I remember when this didn't exist, then the geniuses in the business realized they could just strap this on, claim it's necessary, and you'd pay anyway. They advertise "Lower ticket prices!" then jack up the fuel surcharge. Then advertise "lower fuel surcharge" and jack up ticket costs. Now a departure tax has been added for airports, and soon an entry tax for visitors will come into play, I have no doubt (post Olympics).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Can't abide macadamia nuts served in a bag. They must be on a plate or I just lose it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Can't abide macadamia nuts served in a bag. They must be on a plate or I just lose it.

Nice one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Haha, that is pretty good :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do I have the right to not have the kid directly in front/behind me screaming for most of a 8 - 12 hour flight? How about the kid behind me that refuses to quit kicking the chair... even AFTER asking the parents to have him stop, followed up by several dirty looks, etc.? Or the infant that crapped his diapers and the parents wait a couple hours to change it?

Yes... "everyone" has the right to fly. But everyone doesn't have the right to be a nuisance to all others.

I supposed that's more of a rant about inadequate/bad parenting. Which, you can typically avoid while on land. Hard to do so in a flying tube that most closely resembles a sardine tin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do I have the right to not have the kid directly in front/behind me screaming for most of a 8 - 12 hour flight?

No, actually you do not. Although we all have the right to buy all the surrounding seats or seats in first class to avoid such distressing humanity.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Charging people who fly Japan-somewhere-Japan more than they charge the same somewhere-Japan-somewhere. I'm convinced the main airlines do it for flights to the UK. People at that end get better offers and don't get spurious "fuel surcharges".

All of the flights to the UK now seem to be advertised as "70,000 yen!" but that is before 60,000 yen of unavoidable taxes. It is complete bait and switch.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CHECK IT ALL - I would like to see the "Overhead Storage" shrunk to the size found on intercity buses. Get rid of the wheeled cases. Some people have wheeled bags plus a monster shoulder bag. If everything was checked then you'd eliminate one more thing to fight about. Don't always be envious of the people in business class - The first row's overhead is filled with emergency equipment and there is no seat in front for things to go under.

Re: Kids. There are kids in business and first class. The difference is that those who travel in business tend to be seasoned travelers. They've seen it all and have usually worked out ways to minimize the disruptions.

Re: Seats. Some airlines in the US have locked their seats upright on domestic flights. This is even true in business. I had it on red-eyes from Seattle.

Re: Japan vs World. This doesn't really count because so many people in Japan ship their baggage with Kuro-Neko (Fed-Ex). It is cheap and they find their bag(s) in their hotel room. No escalators. No stairs. No baggage check-in. No baggage claim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I didn't pick fuel surcharge, because the choice above was not the problem. The problem is that fuel surcharge is very high. It can take up 30-40% of the price. And anyone who flies to Heathrow will have to pay an extra 100 pounds or so.

It's funny how quick fuel surcharge goes up when oil prices rise. But when oil prices drop, airlines are very slow to respond. And when oil is very cheap, airlines think up of new taxes. Ask BA.

I choose legroom even though I'm not gigantic or fat. I feel for tall people. In general, the seats just aren't comfortable, especially for the head. I just hate it when you have an empty row, but just before the place leaves, some idiot leaves their own seat and comes over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just got off a delta flight and the seats were hard as bricks. I only had a few hours of sleep and a glass of wine and I still could not fall asleep in those seats.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Took a flight home at Christmas and my ONLY complaint was the guy behind me who thought it was ok to put his stinking smelly feet on the arm between my seat and the seat next to me.

I took premium economy which was great... Might not sound like much better than economy but it is better for space, luggage allowance, and meal options. Actually made a huge difference to how I felt at the end of an eleven hour flight.

Never had a problem with the staff on my national carrier... Always friendly and efficient... Last flight was delayed on the tarmac for about twenty minutes before take off so the staff got together and handed out snacks and sweets paid for out of their own pockets. I do know they can have a hard time with passengers and vice versa... but for me rude passengers are the worst thing about flying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I got a window seat on an ANA 787 nightmare liner. It was very cramped and the service was awful. Nine across on a 787 is cramped, JAL has 8 across and is more comfortable. I flew on American premium economy and it was alright.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rude staff at the check-in counter, not in Japan of course, but home country of Germany....second complaint would be serving kids dinner at 1.00 am after taking the last flight out of Haneda. I will eat, sure, but wtf you expect a little kid to be up and hungry?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would like to see more ass room too

What, those seats built for elementary school age kids aren't big enough?

I only had a few hours of sleep and a glass of wine and I still could not fall asleep in those seats.

Just one glass of wine? And no sleeping pills? Well, of course you couldn't fall asleep!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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