How to Travel Like an A$$H0le

How to Travel Like an A$$H0le – the beginners guide to being a travel jerk

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In this humorous take on the various ways you can travel like a total A$$H0le we do a little passenger shaming (and have some fun alone the way). Here is your beginner’s guide to traveling like a jerk.


We’ve all seen them. You know who I am talking about. Those special travel jerks that you encounter at the airport or hotel while you travel. Yes, those people…the ones that seemed to have skipped manners school and seem to show off their entitled douchery in every oblivious action they take.

Yes, them.

The rude. The jerks. The self-centered, narcissistic-world-belongs-to-them (and no, we are not talking about Millennials…lol). Yes, the Travel A$$H0le.

In our series of travel horror stories we’ve highlighted a few of these. Like the Noisy Passengers, Babies, Loud Talkers and Chatty Grandmas as well as The 7 Most Annoying Airline Passengers (A Travel Rant).

We’ve even lampooned them in some of our travel memes like:




So, building on that theme, we’ve collected a list of several ways people can travel like total jerks in our snarky beginner’s guide to being a travel A$$H0le. Enjoy!

And, if you are taking notes…don’t do these things. Please.


The Rest of us Normal Travelers

The Beginner’s Guide to being a Travel A$$H0le

We’ve provided several examples of how to travel like a complete douche, below.


The manspread. Dear lord…

Why do so many travelers (usually, men, for some reason) feel the need to manspread? I don’t get it. We are all cramped on this plane. We can all agree that there’s not enough room for our legs. But why does that give you the right to flop you fat knees into my seat space!??!?

It doesn’t!

The first rule of traveling like an a-hole is manspreading. It’s a go-to move for the dicks amongst us who have absolutely no regard for anyone else. Please stop.


As an aside, while researching this article I found this on Wikipedia…which is interesting. Do with it what you will.

“Sitting more expansively may signal dominance and sexual attractiveness for males. Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk, a UC Berkeley post-doctorate researcher recently published studies that found spreading out legs and arms is more sexually attractive when males do it. Using photographs, she found that images of men spreading out got 87% of interest among female viewers. Expansive poses were not as effective for women, who appeared “vulnerable” and “starfish-like” according to other researchers.[19] On the other hand, some analysts have found that women sitting cross-legged may be perceived positively as an expression of femininity.[20] The opposite seating posture to manspreading, leg-crossing, is often viewed as effeminate.”

Be Rude to travel staff (and passengers)

Rule #2 of A-hole travel is easy. Just be rude. To everyone. Flight attendants. Cabbies. Passengers.

No “good morning.” Or “Sorry, didn’t mean to bump you with my bag, there buddy.” No need for an “Excuse me” when you brush by me. Nope. Just rude. For no reason.

Listen, we get it. Sometimes (oftentimes) travel ain’t fun. You are up early. Probably jetlagged. Maybe you are stressed because your kids are freaking out or your business deal went sideways. But don’t a dick. There’s really no good reason.

Make an effort to be a little more polite to the folks you encounter while traveling. Greet that flight attendant with a smile – even if she/he doesn’t smile back. Say hi to your fellow passenger. Apologize when you smack someone in the face with your backpack.

It’s not that hard.

Recline your seat

Unpopular opinion coming here…the “should I recline my seat or not” debate has raged on for years with folks staunchly on both sides of the issue.

My view is this. Don’t recline your seat unless you are in first class or have a lie-flat seat. Airplane seats these days are getting smaller and smaller. We ALL have no room.

41% of travelers think it’s rude to recline your seat! I am surprised it’s not more. Delta is actually testing a concept where seat recline will be limited. This is great news!

Keep your seat upright and be courteous to the fella behind you. And if you do recline it do so slowly. Don’t launch back like the plane just took on 4Gs. Ease it back giving that businesslady behind you time to slide her glass of wine out of the way…


Don’t Tip

I don’t get the no-tipping crowd. Many of the folks working in the travel industry are not making big bucks. The cabbies and uber drivers are probably scraping buy. That guy driving your shuttle bus to the airport who just lugged your overpacked bag into the bin…he’s making 10.00/hr.

don't be a dick...tip the cabby!

The hotel maid has to clean your nasty bathroom for five days.

For god’s sake, tip! You don’t have to go all Bill Gates on ’em…but at least tip the minimum. And during the holiday’s spring for a bit more.

And yeah, the tipping culture has gotten a bit out of hand (you don’t need to tip the fast food kid who took your order at Jack in the Box – even if there’s a tip jar), but there’s still a valid (and needed) place for tipping.

Here’s a good tipping guide for traveling from fellow partner Your Mileage May Vary

Hog the arm rests

Arm rest hoggers are the devil’s kin. And travel jerks love to do this. Listen, this is simple: middle seat gets the armrests. They have the unfortunate malady of being stuck in a middle seat for 4 hours. You can lean a bit to the left (or right) and just use one.

Don’t be a dick and hog both of them.

’nuff said.

Don’t use headphones

The 26 passengers surrounding your seat really don’t want to hear the love scene on the latest episode of Game of Thrones or the beeping and booping of your Mario Kart game.

Get some headphones, for the love of christ. If you didn’t bring any…then too bad for you. We don’t need to hear your show or your game. Grab that Skymall…and start reading about that inflatable vacuum cleaner your grandma bought.

Eat Stinky Food on the plane

Ever farted in a car on family vacation? Confined space, terrifying odor = irritation level 9. Now swap out the fart for a garlic laden Sbarro pizza and the van for an aluminum tube full of people with no legroom, 3 babies, 7 toddlers, a businessman with a migraine, two couples are arguing, some dude who hasn’t showered in 2 days and you get the perfect combination….why yes we’d love to smell your food. NOT!

pizza with raisins on top

Photo by Ikeen James on

I am surprised more emergency exits DON’T get opened.

Eat before you get on the plane, dude. And if you do bring food make sure it’s innocuous smelling. Like a nice boring turkey sandwich.

Leave your bag hanging out of the overhead bin

I’ve seen this so many times. Someone comes thumping up the aisle with a carryon that probably should have been checked. They find a space and start jamming and cramming their bag into it. It’s CLEARLY not going to fit (anyone with a 3rd grade education level can see this). But then…they just leave it. Leaving the flight attendant to deal with.


Knock that crap off.

Take your shoes off

Your feet are nasty. Mine are nasty. That’s because FEET are nasty. Want to get to the next level of Travel Jerk-ery? Take your nasty shoes off…

The last thing we want is to SEE your feet. And we certainly don’t want to see them draped all over the armrest or in the window or tray table.

Keep your shoes on.

Our Last Words

We could probably go on and on here. The hotel room smoker that I am sharing a joint AC vent with. The loud talker on the plane. The security line cutter. The creepy hit-on-the-cute-girl-in-seat-11b guy. The too much perfume lady (or cologne guy…what are you? A mafia don!?). The nonstop airplane farter. The hotel porn guy at 2AM. On and on….

There are definitely many other examples of how to travel like a total jerk. What did we forget? What really chaps your hide when traveling? Drop us a comment or tweet us #TravelJerk.

You might also be interested in Airplane Etiquette: The Unwritten Rules for Traveling on a Plane

Check out the 10 Kinds of Passengers that Flight Attendants Hate


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And, of course, if you are interested in more travel tips and travel advice and product reviews, you might like these great articles:

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How to Travel Like an A$$H0le - Travel Jerks 101

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. “Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

4 comments on “How to Travel Like an A$$H0le – the beginners guide to being a travel jerk

  1. DaninMCI

    Hotel Door Slammer Guy is my favorite followed closely by Hotel “let’s have a noisy party in my room while my friends go back and forth from room to room slamming doors late at night” guy / cheer squad. Reminds me of Mike Pancake.

  2. Brian

    You will lead a less stressful life if you take the following attitude: 1) A passenger’s space begins from the recline of the seat in front of them to the full recline of their seat; 2) As a courtesy to the passenger behind you, choose not to recline; 3) Most people aren’t trying to be jerks (they may be ignorant, having a bad day, etc.); 4) being a jerk back usually results in elevated bad behavior, try kindness and understanding. And I usually fail at some or all of the above.


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