A poll of nearly 1,600 travellers from the US and Canada found that air passengers with "poor hygiene" are the least desirable travellers with whom to share an armrest.

The 2009 Rudeness Poll from online travel agency Travelocity rated an array of annoying behaviors, with kicking the back of the seat and rushing to disembark the plane ahead of others upon landing rounding out the top three least desirable traits in cabin mates.

A close fourth was a passenger who is coughing or sneezing. Tthe poll also shows that rowdy university students are not as amusing as they may imagine themselves to be.

When confronted with a misbehaving child on a plane, only 1 in 5 respondents will take any action at all, such as giving the parents a dirty look, making a complaint or reprimanding the parents or child.

Large passengers are disliked at more than three times the rate of a chatty passenger or a child, according to the survey: more than 80 percent of those polled feel that large flyers should be seated in two seats but were roughly split as to whether the passenger or the airline should eat the bill.

Scant few differences emerged between the neighboring countries. Canadians were more perturbed by poor queue discipline than US respondents, who find oversized carry-on luggage particularly galling.

Canadian respondents were also significantly more likely to report seat kicking and reclining the seat all the way back as top examples of rude behavior.

Travelocity Global is one of the world's largest online travel companies, with its Travelocity, lastminute.com and ZUJI businesses worldwide generating nearly €10 billion in gross travel sales annually.