Which air travelers do you dislike the most?

The ones that smell bad, according to a new poll by Travelocity. Fellow travelers with poor hygiene were called the “most disliked” in the survey, with a total of 45 percent of respondents calling out the unwashed masses.

A close runner-up — no pun intended — were air travelers who are “coughing and sneezing” (30 percent) followed by large fliers (15 percent).

Perhaps the biggest surprise: Who wasn’t on the list.

Chatty passengers and kids only got 5 percent of the vote each. Snoring passengers received only one percent of the vote.

Are we to believe that kids on planes are no longer annoying?

I think not.

Instead, worries about Swine Flu may be pushing health concerns to the top of our “worry” list. A coughing, sneezing seatmate — or one that isn’t clean — may expose us to H1N1, we fear.

Travelocity also broke the responses down by nationality, which provided some interesting insights. The answers are uniform for the bottom three responses. But Americans seem slightly more concerned about coughing passengers, while Canadians find dirty or XL passengers to be more offensive.

Bottom line? Pack a face mask. It’s going to be a long flu season.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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