Solitaire Bliss

America’s Naughtiest Travel Habits

By Assaf Cohen - 05/06/2024
An illustration of several bad habits committed by travelers

Going on vacation is a relaxing time to break free from the stresses of everyday life, but sometimes the airport itself can cause anxiety. From travelers lying on the floor in the terminal to an overly intoxicated passenger sitting next to you on a flight, travelers can agree that some behaviors are just universally unacceptable, even if they’re guilty of it themselves. In addition to being annoying, these types of behaviors can even increase airport anxiety.

While a new book or a good game of Solitaire can help distract you from others around you while flying, some habits are just too annoying to overlook. As many Americans gear up for their summer vacations, our team set out to determine where residents have the worst travel habits.

We surveyed residents in every state and asked a variety of questions regarding the behaviors they are guilty of, the habits they have witnessed, the airlines they associate with these behaviors, and more. Read on to see which state is home to the naughtiest travelers.

Key Takeaways

  • Residents in Iowa, Illinois, and Virginia are the most likely to commit naughty travel behaviors.
  • Residents in Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida are the least likely to commit naughty travel behaviors.
  • 1 in 3 Americans admit to passing gas while flying.
  • 1 in 8 Americans have witnessed a physical confrontation in an airport or on a plane.
  • Americans are most likely to associate Spirit Airlines with naughty travel behaviors.
  • Gen Zers are the most likely generation to commit "naughty" travel behaviors.

The States with the Naughtiest Travelers

A heatmap of the U.S. showing the states where residents are most and least guilty of naughty travel habits

For some people, traveling via plane is rare, but others regularly find themselves in airports. Whether you are only flying to reach your vacation destination or traveling for work, it is important to remain courteous to other travelers. As Americans all across the country gear up for summer vacations, our team set out to find where residents are the most guilty of naughty travel habits.

Leading the way is Iowa with a naughty travel habits score of 94.29 out of 100. When it comes to poor travel habits, Iowa residents are most likely to put bags on seats in the terminal and pass gas in their seats or the cabin of a plane.

Coming in second with a score of 89.81 is Illinois, where 1 in 4 residents admit to ignoring seatbelt signs while flying. In third place is Virginia with a score of 88.85 out of 100. While flying, Virginians’ top bad habits include, putting bags on seats in the terminal, not putting phones on airplane mode, and reclining seats without asking.

While some states are repeat offenders of these naughty travel habits, other parts of the country are more well-mannered while flying. Arkansas residents are at the top of the list for polite travelers, followed by Alabama and Florida. Overall, 78% of Americans feel airline etiquette has declined in recent years.

The Naughty Travel Behaviors Americans Admit to Doing

A bar chart showing the naughty travel behavior Americans have seen

Now that we have discovered the states with the naughtiest travelers, it’s time to dive into the behaviors that earned those titles. Topping the list as the most common behaviors are putting their bags on the terminal seats, reclining their seats without asking on the plane, and not putting phones on airplane mode.

While these may seem like minor infractions, during a busy travel day, they could be the final straw to ruin someone’s overall experience. The fourth most common behavior Americans admit to is passing gas on the plane or in the cabin, which 1 in 3 people say they do.

Other behaviors that impact fellow travelers more directly also made the list with stealing both armrests in 8th, hanging legs in aisles in 9th, and pushing on the seat in front of them in 11th.

Our study found in general, it is Gen Zers and men who are the most likely to commit these naughty travel behaviors.

The Travel Behaviors Americans See Others Do While Flying

A bar chart showing the most common naughty travel behaviors Americans are guilty of

If you have flown, you likely witnessed other people committing questionable behaviors that you either found rude or annoying. That’s why our team also asked respondents to share the behaviors they have seen others do on planes and in airports.

Topping the list as the most common behaviors witnessed include reclining seats without asking, loud phone use, and putting bags on seats in the terminal. While these behaviors were also among the most common actions travelers admit to, our study saw a higher percentage of people saying they witnessed the acts than those who committed them.

While only 8% of people say they have worn strong cologne or perfume, 1 in 2 people say they have smelled others wearing it. Perhaps, this is a case where some travelers are simply unaware of the impact they have on others. To them, their scents seem appropriate, while others find it overwhelming. This is similar to drinking too much and having body odor from not showering, with more people experiencing it than reporting doing it themselves.

Some behaviors are forgivable, however, especially those done without any awareness of the bad habit. To determine which actions travelers find most inappropriate, we asked respondents what they viewed as the most unacceptable behaviors while flying and found physical confrontations with others and masturbating on a plane were at the top of the list.

Sometimes being around these behaviors is unavoidable as travelers with these naughty habits can make their way onto any airline, but some travelers feel there is an increase in these actions on specific airlines. Our study found Americans are most likely to associate Spirit Airlines with these naughty behaviors in 2024, so they are more likely to travel on Delta and Southwest Airlines instead.

Return to Bliss While Traveling with Solitaire

Regardless of the time of year or the airline you choose, it is important to remain respectful of others. Before you step foot on a plane, keep your limit in mind at the bar and keep some deodorant handy. These little gestures can go a long way in ensuring others have an enjoyable flight as well.

As for blocking out the naughtiest of travelers and avoiding airport anxiety, Solitaire Bliss has you covered. Simply pop in some earbuds and queue your favorite playlist, while challenging yourself to a game of Spider Solitaire or Free Cell. With a variety of games to choose from, you can ignore those other travelers and enjoy yourself ahead of your flight.


In this study, we surveyed Americans in every state to determine where residents are most and least guilty of committing naughty travel habits. We asked a variety of questions from which behaviors they are guilty of themselves, which behaviors they have witnessed while traveling, which behavior they consider the worst, and which airline they associate most with these behaviors.

Using the responses to the behaviors Americans are guilty of doing themselves, we awarded points and calculated an average score for each state. We then adjusted the scores on a scale of 0-100, with 100 representing the naughtiest travel habits. Finally, we ranked each state according to their Naughty Travel Habits Score.

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