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The 5 states with the worst, best traveler’s airplane etiquette



The 5 states with the worst, best traveler’s airplane etiquette


Sitting next to someone with poor airplane etiquette can easily ruin your flight, and the U.S. state you’re flying out of may determine that.

From the seat in front of you reclining into your lap to a passenger who hogs both armrests — and isn’t in the middle seat — there are a number of behaviors that can bother your fellow travelers. In a recent report by Solitaire Bliss, 78% of the 2,002 Americans surveyed in April said they feel air travel etiquette has worsened over the past few years.

The participants cited the most common inconsiderate behaviors in airports and airplanes they’ve seen being people reclining seats without asking, using phones loudly in the terminal, and placing bags on terminal seats. 

The survey asked what bad behaviors people have seen and if they are guilty of committing these air travel offenses — and many admitted they do. With survey respondents coming from every U.S. state, the report determined the states with the most polite and inconsiderate fliers. (Yes, these are blanket statements, and both good and bad fliers are everywhere.) The states were ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater tendency among travelers from that state to have poor air travel etiquette.

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“With the summer travel season here, we’ll be seeing an influx of stories on the media circuit about poor passenger behavior and airline issues,” Assaf Cohen, founder of Solitaire Bliss, said in an email statement to USA TODAY. “Along with common behaviors like taking up a seat in the terminal using a bag, or reclining a seat without asking, one in eight passengers report having seen a physical altercation.”

Read below to find the top five states with the best and worst travel etiquette.

States with the worst travel etiquette 

5. Georgia

4. Texas

3. Virginia

2. Illinois

1. Iowa

With the highest score of 94.29, Iowa’s survey respondents were the most guilty of poor travel etiquette, like putting their bags on the terminal seats and passing gas on the plane. Virginia’s top bad habits when flying included placing their luggage on the terminal seats, not putting their phones on airplane mode, and reclining their seats without asking. In Illinois, one in four residents admitted they ignore the seatbelt sign when flying. 

States with the best travel etiquette

5. Kansas

4. Ohio

3. Florida

2. Wisconsin

1. Arkansas

Call it “Southern hospitality” or “Midwest nice,” but the states that reported the least rude air travel behaviors were along the South and Midwest. Arkansas stole the top spot for having the most well-mannered passengers — or at least those who did not admit to their offenses.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at

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