Oyster Editors’ Biggest Travel Pet Peeves Ever

See recent posts by Rachel Klein



Loving to travel doesn't always equal loving the journey. Sometimes it just isn't in the cards, often for reasons completely out of your control, and all you can do is grit your teeth and go with the flow. Overbooked flights, airport delays, crowded trains, and fellow travelers driving us berserk are just a few gripes fueling our rants. Though when all is said and done, putting up with the headaches and annoyances of travel certainly beat staying home. Here's what drives the Oyster editors crazy when we travel.

Noisy People in Hotel Hallways

“My biggest travel pet peeve is when people are noisy in hotel hallways, especially early in the morning and late at night. I think it’s easy to forget that people are sleeping when you’re walking (or talking or fighting or crying; I’ve heard it all) down an empty corridor, but there are sometimes hundreds of people trying to rest behind thin doors. Related: people who let room doors slam behind them.” — Megan Wood, Editor 

Missing a Connecting Flight

“Missing a connecting flight is the worst. Sometimes airlines sell tickets with incredibly tight turnarounds and there is a risk going in, sometimes it’s just because your first flight was delayed…Either way it’s painful. It’s especially bad if you booked different legs on different airlines, as the second airline might not be as willing to accommodate you and get you on the next flight. On my honeymoon, because of a flight delay and missed connection we ended up spending an unexpected night in Taipei. Since it wasn’t part of our plan and we didn’t have a visa, they took our passports and put us up in a budget hotel that we weren’t allowed to leave — we were essentially held prisoner by the airline until our flight to Thailand the next day. ” — Kelsey Blodget, Senior Executive Editor

Not Following Overhead Bin Protocol

SuperJet International/Flickr

SuperJet International/Flickr

“Here’s my dream: I win the lottery and tour every charming cobblestoned town in Europe. But before I leave, I pay for a PSA to run in airports around the globe. The subject of that PSA? My travel pet peeve: People who stash their suitcases in the first rows of overhead bins regardless of where they sit. As my announcement would calmly explain, once you do that, a domino effect happens where everyone’s luggage is displaced and passengers have to scramble to other rows to stow away their suitcase because someone 18 rows down already took their spot. Pure chaos! But my PSA would put an end to that, and I wouldn’t have to face this mad suitcase scramble ever again.” — Maria Teresa Hart, Senior Editor 

Rude Plane Passengers

“I despise anyone who blatantly disregards other passengers’ personal space on planes. This includes putting your feet up on the armrests in front of you, speaking too loudly, and not taking care of personal hygiene pre-flight (AKA having bad B.O.). I actually truly enjoy flying, as I love being disconnected from the world and catching up on all the movies I’ve missed, so anyone who ruins my blissful time in a bubble at 35,000 feet will likely get a nasty glare from me. And, similarly, I absolutely cannot stand passengers who are rude to flight attendants. I get that flying is stressful for many people, but flight attendants are just doing their jobs — and they’ll be the ones helping you off the plane if there’s an emergency. Just be courteous all around.” — Stefanie Waldek, Editor 

Chaotic Crowds and the Lack of Organized Lines

“I generally loathe the crowds in New York City, despite having lived here for most of my adult life. However, I will say that the general efficiency of the American line-waiting endeavor becomes a thing to marvel when you deal with queues in foreign countries. From the shove-or-be-shoved crowds in India’s train station ticket lines to the languorous pace at which cashing out moves in Brazil, there’s something momentarily refreshing about returning to a city where the total lack of personal engagement between workers and consumers translates to rapid movement from point A to point B. This usually lasts for a week, then I’m inevitably infuriated by New York’s miserable subway performance and hordes of Europeans taking up prime sidewalk space with their leisurely pace of moving around town.” — Kyle Valenta, Senior Editor 

Discourteous Travelers

New York City/Oyster

New York City/Oyster

“My biggest travel pet peeve isn’t anything on a macro level, like flight delays or unexpected closures. That’s just par for the course. It’s little things, like common courtesy and being aware of your surroundings. Please don’t suddenly stop midstream in crowds to talk on your phone. Pull over! Hogging the overhead with things other than suitcases, jackets, or maybe an umbrella — like with sports equipment or shopping bags stuffed with duty-free purchases — just isn’t nice. Be a good fellow traveler and take a minute to help someone hoist a bag or with directions. The idea is to pay it forward.” — Rachel Klein, Editor

Flight Delays

“I can muster a smile on my face when I’m elbowing my way through crowds to snag a picture of a famous attraction. I can suck it up when crying babies make their presence known on red-eye flights. And I can even shrug off the fact that I got stuck with the middle seat on an over 10-hour-long journey. But the one thing I absolutely cannot stand is a flight delay, no matter how long or short it may be. Nothing gets me huffing and puffing more than being brought out to the runway only to be told that I have no choice but to sit on the plane as the hours drag and the cabin air gets stuffy. Sitting, waiting, wishing at the airport during a delay is no fun either. Though they’re often no one’s fault (especially when it’s weather-related), the idea of anything cutting into my precious travel time is maddening (think about how many croissants I could have eaten in Paris during the two hours that my plane sat on the tarmac due to runway congestion?!) Plus, the fact that it’s completely out of my control makes matters more frustrating. Even worse, is when a delay leads to a missed connecting flight.” — Alisha Prakash, Editor

Short Flight Connections

“I understand that a bajillion flight connections go down every minute of every day, and not all of them are going to be easy and elegant. But man it drives me totally bonkers when I have to navigate one of those insanely timed (as in multiple terminals in a matter of minutes) flight connections. But I guess the payoff is that moment when your butt hits the seat of the second plane, and the omg-I-made-it feeling of relief is all the more glorious.” — Anne Bauso, Editor

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