Whether helping fellow passengers with their luggage, giving up their seats or offering tissues, Thai travelers are among the most thoughtful in the sky, according to travel juggernaut Expedia.

Thai frequent flyers were least likely to bring stinky food into the cabin, most likely to hoist other passengers’ luggage  and compared favorably overall with other nationalities in a report released yesterday that didn’t hesitate to make broad generalizations.

“As much as the social media has portrayed, act [sic] of kindness is still very much valued. And not to my surprise Thai travellers, given the Thai heritage and culture, top the chart when it comes to providing various acts of kindness to fellow travellers,” Expedia regional spokeswoman Lavinia Rajaram said in a statement.

Thai Air Travelers Are Pretty Damn Polite: Survey

It’s good to know the land of durian is sensitive to food stank. Based on a survey of 601 frequent Thai travelers, the comparison was based on data from Expedia’s Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study released earlier this month.

Half of all Thais surveyed said they had helped lift other travelers’ luggage, compared to 41 percent of the global sample. They ranked in the middle (22 percent) when it came to giving up their seats, with Americans (42 percent) and Taiwanese (40 percent) the most willing seat-surrenderers.

Fifteen percent would not stink up the cabin with smelly food, followed by Japanese (13 percent) and Taiwanese (11 percent). Indians (31 percent) and Americans (30 percent) didn’t sweat it.

Feeling sick during a flight? Look for the nearest Austrian, as 57 percent of them said they’d offer a tissue or cough drop. Thais were second (54 percent) followed by South Koreans (24 percent).

Overall, 95 percent of all passengers surveyed said they weren’t flying drunk, which is good as nearly half of all global respondents said that one drunk asshole won the most-annoying-on-plane award.

Thai Air Travelers Are Pretty Damn Polite: Survey

Thais said they were most annoyed by drunk passengers (43 percent), germ spreaders (35 percent), smelling passengers (27 percent), seat bumpers (25 percent) and parents not doing their damn jobs (24 percent).

“While being confined to an airplane seat can bring out the worst in some people, most people don’t think of using social media to deal with rude fellow travelers. When it comes to unruly plane passengers, travelers are dealing with things directly. Thai passengers definitely prefer avoiding a confrontation,” it said.

A majority of French, Swiss and Germans said they’d confront a seat kicker directly, while 41 percent of Thais said they’d ask a flight attendant to intervene. Nearly seven-in-10 said they’d go to the cabin crew to report rude behavior.

Thais are assertive about their armrests – half of them said they’d ask their seat buddies to stop hogging their wrist rester. Being a frank people, those Austrians again topped the list at 60 percent.


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