wild kidsExpedia.com has released the results of its first Expedia 2015 Hotel Etiquette Study, which asked 1,022 Americans to rank the frustrating, sneaky, sometimes quirky behavior exhibited by their fellow hotel guests. The study was commissioned by Expedia and conducted by GfK, an independent global market research company.

By a slight margin, “Inattentive Parents” – parents who let their kids run wild – are the most aggravating hotel guests, having been called out by 67% of Americans. 64% of Americans are frustrated by “Hallway Hellraisers,” while 54% of Americans complained about “The Complainers,” or guests who berate hotel staff over minor inconveniences.

The full list of hotel etiquette violations, from most to least annoying, follows:

  1. Inattentive Parents – 67%
  2. The Hallway Hellraisers – 64%
  3. The Complainers – 54%
  4. The In-Room Revelers (noisemakers nearby) – 52%
  5. The Bickerers – 26%
  6. The Poolside Partiers – 22%
  7. The Loudly Amorous (indiscreet lovemakers) – 21%
  8. The Hot Tub Canoodlers (amorous couples in a public hot tub) – 20%
  9. The Business Bar Boozer (sloshed business travelers) – 12%
  10. The Elevator Chatterbox – 6%

“While etiquette violations differ, they tend to come down to the same behavior: whether or not guests respect the strangers in close proximity to them,” said John Morrey, vice president and general manager, Expedia.com. “The same is true for flying, or for driving. A modicum of consideration for your fellow travelers can go a very long way and may ultimately enhance your overall travel experience.”

To tip or not to tip

Americans are divided on hotel tipping habits. A full 27% report that they “do not tip” hotel employees at all. 3% have attempted to tip a hotel employee to secure a room upgrade. 51% of Americans tip their housekeepers (who are tipped more than any other employee). 40% tip for room service deliveries. 31% tip the valet. 21% tip the porter, just 10% tip the concierge and 7% tip cabana attendants.

Americans may be split on whether to tip the housekeeper in part because of personal organizational habits. 80% of Americans profess that they keep their hotel room “tidy,” versus 20% of guests who rely entirely on housekeeping.

Hidden hotel habits

Americans do take discreet – and sometimes indiscreet – liberties when they stay at hotels. Among them:

  • 26% of Americans have hoarded toiletries to take home with them;
  • 9% have shoehorned multiple people into their room overnight without telling the hotel;
  • 8% have secretly taken items from their hotel room;
  • 6% sneak down to the pool first thing in the morning to “reserve” a spot by placing towels on chairs;
  • 5% have smoked in a non-smoking room; and
  • 2% have deliberately eavesdropped on guests in a neighboring room.

In addition:

  • 74% of Americans consider room service to be “a luxury,” versus 26% who consider it “a necessity”;
  • 54% of Americans do use their towels multiple times for environmental reasons, at the hotel’s prompting; and
  • 6% haggle with the hotel over their room rate at check-in.

About the survey
The study was conducted online using the GfK “KnowledgePanel,” an online probability-based panel designed to be representative of the US general population, not just the online population. The study consisted of 1,022 interviews of randomly selected U.S. adult residents, conducted between August 7-9, 2015, among adults aged 18+.