Us Brits love a queue and will, more often that not, respect the formulation of one when we come across them.
To ignore a queue is considered sacrilege by many, which is why it’s unsurprising that the greatest annoyance for travellers in airports is when people queue jump, according to a YouGov survey.
People who hog seats with their bags and travellers who don’t have their passports ready are also among the top three biggest annoyances for travellers in airports, the poll of more than 2,000 people found.
Airport users also become enraged when people don’t understand or follow security rules, and when people overpack and have to re-pack, holding up the check-in queue.
[Read More: 9 things only acceptable at airports]
When we asked people on Twitter what irritated them at airports, the poll was pretty spot on – to some extent.
Sixth place on the list of bug-bears are the people who run through the airport and bump into others.
And a lot of annoyances appear to crop up in the security area, with people not stacking their security trays being the seventh greatest bug-bear and travellers who set off metal detectors coming in at eighth.
Travellers who queue at the gate before it opens annoy others (in ninth place), as well as people who accidentally pick up other people’s luggage (tenth).
But what about the people who saunter slowly through duty-free when you need to get to your gate? The travellers who hold up queues at the checkout desk for ages because they’ve forgotten something? The heathens who stand in the way putting their shoes on when they should be moving to the designated areas in security?
And then there are the people who get really drunk in the airport at 6am and you inevitably have to deal with them later (because they’re ALWAYS on your flight). The screaming kids (sorry, parents). Oh, and the people who can’t seem to navigate a wheelie suitcase and trip you up as a result. See also: extortionate airport parking.
We all get a bit angry at airports, don’t we? Jo Bryant, an etiquette expert who has worked at Debrett’s (the arbiters of British etiquette) for more than 10 years, said people need to be more aware of one another.
“The essence of good etiquette is consideration towards others, so it’s important to be aware of how we interact with our fellow travellers,” she said. “We should all aim to be patient and tolerant at the airport, rather than being in a rush and forgetting our manners.”
Bryant, who is working with Stansted Airport, shared her top tips for not pissing everyone off:
Remember the regulations. Research what is allowed by your airline and required for the security check. Take note of cabin-bag sizes and weights, and have your liquids and toiletries correctly-sized and in order.
Be security savvy. Have your passport to hand when needed, and get ready for the security check in good time.
Maximise your time. Utilise the services on offer to streamline your journey from arrival to boarding – fast-track offers the fastest route for security and passport control, saving you time and reducing stress.
Allow plenty of time. Heavy traffic and unexpected delays can easily make us late and force us to rush. It’s inconsiderate (or even dangerous) to run through the airport and risk bumping or knocking into people. Ensure you have plenty of time on your side to avoid stress and panic.
Keep an eye on your children. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their kids behave as appropriately as possible. Ward off tantrums with plenty of snacks and provide entertainment where possible.
Be aware. In the confines of the terminal, it’s important to be extra vigilant on how our actions impact others. Make sure you’re not taking up excess space by putting your bag on a seat, and avoid having loud phone calls or conversations in quiet areas (for example at the departure gate).
Wait in line at the right time. Queue barging is unacceptable and rude in any circumstance, even if you are running late. You must respect the rules and wait your turn, no matter how stressed you feel. Similarly, avoid creating unnecessary queues, for example lining up at the departure gate before it is open. It will not speed up the process or make the plane ready more quickly – you will just disturb other travellers who are seated and waiting patiently.