This article on contains a survey of American airline passengers conducted by the travel engine Expedia. They asked 1,000 people to rank the most annoying on-board habits of fellow-flyers.

It is getting more and more difficult to be civil and courteous when the airlines are jamming us into smaller spaces and giving us fewer amenities. There are still occasional examples of selflessness and kindness as one person helps another hoist her bag into the overhead bin or someone volunteers to switch his seat so a middle-aged woman can sit next to her mother.

But generally you can feel the tension in the cabin after passengers have drained themselves with the pressures of getting to the airport on time, waiting in long lines to check bags, then more standing in cue for the security, and then the mad rush to get on board, only to wait once again.

The top etiquette violators on airplanes are:

1. Rear Seat Kicker
2. Inattentive Parents
3. The Aromatic Passenger
4. The Audio Insensitive
5. The Boozer
6. Chatty Cathy
7. Carry-On Baggage Offenders
8. The Armrest Hog
9. Seat-Back Guy (seat recliner)
10. The Queue Jumper (rushes to deplane)

These difficult people put us on edge, and arouse in us uncomfortable feelings of frustration, impatience, anger, or even a desire for revenge. But your duty is to see them as one of your spiritual teachers for a lesson in patience. So chill out and stay cool.

In his insightful book on this subject, Thank You for Being Such a Pain, Mark I. Rosen observes: "The most powerful option for dealing with a difficult person is personal growth. Inner change inevitably leads to outer change." He suggests that you say a little prayer when you find yourself face-to-face with a difficult person: "Here comes another one. God, I ask you to guide me. You have sent this person to me for a reason. Help me to know what it is, and help me to cope successfully."

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