I was once a single man in my 30s - not so long ago, in fact - so was surprised to learn that this occasionally oafish demographic is beloved of airline staff.

A survey of international cabin crew by Skyscanner has found that the perfect passenger is a single man in their 30s, travelling for business. Perhaps even more surprisingly, he's sitting in economy, not in the more comfortable seats of business or first class.

This sounds like something of a rogue's charter, given the prominent role played in many male fantasies of the classic airline stewardess.

Skyscanner's survey of more than 700 international cabin crew members in 85 countries also helpfully reveals a couple of tips for passengers to curry favour in the air. The worst thing a passenger can do, according to 26 per cent of those in the survey, is click their fingers to get a crew member's attention. Fair enough.


Other annoying habits: Scrambling to the exit doors before the seat belt signs, switched off (13 per cent) and passengers trying to cram too much hand baggage in the overhead lockers (11 per cent) and talking through the safety demonstration (9 per cent).

Stuffing rubbish in the seat pocket was top of the irritation list for 7 per cent of crew. (But, hey, they won't know it was you until you're off the plane anyway, so tucking a lolly wrapper away probably won't bring a marked increase in staff surliness.)

Some of the hassles seem like basic customer service. Eight per cent of cabin staff get bugged by being asked for more blankets or pillows and 6 per cent are irked by travellers asking for a different meal - guys, you're pretty much following the wrong career path.

My philosophy: Ask for everything you possibly can and do the asking with a cheery smile. And if you don't get what you wanted, chill.