How Hair Is The New Trend In Awful Air Travel Behavior

A passenger on a Delta flight from Nashville to Minneapolis found a way to annoy a passenger she wasn’t even sitting next to her, and she did it without saying a word.

The woman on the Airbus A319 draped her hair over the seat back behind her. What makes it worse it that Delta Air Lines has seat back entertainment screens, so she was blocking the screen of the passenger sitting behind her.

That passenger kept trying to move her hair out of the way. She kept moving it back over the screen. Oddly, this continued – and the woman seated behind her never asked her to stop.

I’d note that those touch screen televisions aren’t being cleaned nearly as often as you’d think.

So as the passenger whose screen view is being blocked, which camp are you in?

  • Say “excuse me”
  • Pull the hair
  • Scissors
  • Dip it in coffee
  • Gum

You might be tempted to think that the video was a set up, purely for the social media LOLZ. There’s no way to know this. However passengers draping their hair over the seat back behind them is something that happens all the time.

(HT: Hans)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. (1) Say “Excuse me”, then
    (2) Just throw it back over her face, then
    (3) Get the FA, then
    (4) Save up a really disgusting sneeze, blow it in her hair, and wipe my nose with hair.

  2. I’ve flown on a lot of flights and seen a lot of things, but I have never had a flight where I saw hair tossed over the IFE screen by the passengers whose seat back hosts the IFE screens.

    The big issue I still have with IFE use is not big hair. The big issue is that the systems or screens go down at times and some airlines don’t care as much as they used to about what that may mean to the passengers.

  3. Thing 1: if wanting to be really gross and nasty about it, someone could put a wet piece of chewing gum on the screen and then have the hair snag the gum.

    Getting chewing gum out of hair may require a haircut.

  4. I don’t understand what would possess someone to throw their dirty hair over the back of their seat, but I also don’t understand why a person seated behind wouldn’t simply speak up and say “uh…your hair is in my face, covering my tray table, and blocking my screen…please move it” instead of passively trying to push the hair out of the way. If I was seated next to someone having to endure that, I would take it upon myself to ask them or get a FA to say something.

  5. A diplomatic request is a good place to start. If that doesn’t achieve the desired result, contact the FA. I actually had this happen to me, only it was a guy who had long dreadlocks that were falling clear onto my tray table during a meal service.

  6. (1) Say “Excuse me…”, then
    (2) Get the FA, then
    (3) Start Braiding, using Coke to keep the strands wet. If she complains say “well, it’s all there was to do on my ISE screen”

    (4) Can I take a small spritz bottle of hydrogen peroxide on board? It doesn’t smell, so…

  7. In the past I would start with a request to the passenger, but given all the reports of senseless violence on flights these days exploding from simple situations if this happened today I would probably start off by pushing the call button and pointing out the situation to the FA and let them deal with it.

  8. Not sure why anyone would keep dealing with this or pushing the person’s hair out of thew way instead of just asking them to move it or requesting help from the FA. Typical example of how you can’t really complain if you don’t try to first remedy the problem.

  9. We’re looking at 3 incidents over 7 years here. I really don’t believe this is a persistent problem, but people should be very direct in addressing it when it happens.

  10. This is but one example of how most people behave in rude / disgusting ways on a plane. My top pet-peeves:

    1. People who think they own the overheads
    2. Shoes on bulkheads
    3. Bare feet on bulkheads
    4. Shoes off period
    5. Slamming my shoulder with your bags as you walk down the aisle and not even bother to say “pardon me.”
    6. Listening to phone calls, videos, or anything else with the speaker function on so everyone can hear it
    7. The aggressive recliner
    8. The ill-behaved / disruptive child
    9. The ill-behaved / disruptive adult
    10. People trying to climb over you during deplaning

  11. It would have to be an escalation response. First I’d ask nicely on video. If rejected, tell her that if she does it again she wont like the response. On video. . If still rejected- the gum comes out and becomes a game of how much to insert before she notices. At this point, I don’t care if she moves it- I’ll just find new products to keep her hair sticky, I mean, silky.

    With enough gum or some other sticky product, you can move the hair to either side of the screen and stick it to the seat back.

    Cutting it causes too many issues so I wouldn’t do that. Threaten maybe, but without action.

  12. I’ve been guilty of some things due to being a new flyer and I didn’t read about them beforehand. Now that I know about them I don’t do them. I don’t see any need to sling my hair over someone else’s screen. I keep it on my side of the seat. Sometimes the restroom becomes an issue. I think next time I fly I’ll wear adult diapers just to be sure. There is some excuse for unruly children but most adults know better.

  13. I agree with SOBE ER DOC
    definitely “excuse me,then FA”
    The hogging of overheads bins seems to be getting much worse.. esp when people are allowed on the plane with 3 or 4 items vs 2!!

  14. Scissors? Nope
    gum? nope

    Super Glue? DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!

    (but have the scissors ready in case they ask to borrow them)

  15. My go to’s are asking to move the hair, and if that doesn’t work, call the FA. With all the nuts flying today, I wouldn’t mess with someone’s hair. Even if the person ahead of you doesn’t go ballistic, a fellow traveler or random row mate might. Why risk it?

  16. I commented on the hair situation earlier. I didn’t say how I would handle it though. I would say excuse me but your hair is covering my screen. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to ask them to move it. They just would. If not I would ask them and then talk to the flight attendant if they didn’t move it. Then I guess I would just keep moving it. I might feel like using scissors, gum or Gorilla glue but I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to get in trouble. Maybe even touching their hair would be trouble nowadays.

  17. “If you don’t drape your hair over my viewscreen I won’t violently kick the back of your seat every 30 seconds”

  18. Revenge resulting in damage (self-applied glue, sneezing, gum, coffee, etc.) could lead to YOU being charged with criminal battery (unlawful intrusion upon the body of another). I could make an exception for dipping into Alfredo or marinara sauce since she might like Italian food. Instead, you should launch an escalating course of action.

    So: 1: Notify the passenger, i.e., “You may not be aware…” If that doesn’t work, then 2: Notify the flight attendant and ask assistance. If that doesn’t work, then 3: Talk loudly to the passengers around you, “Can you believe this Karen in [Row#] [Seat#] thinks that she is entitled to both her video screen and mine!” 4: Pull out a pen, a straw, or some other long object and use it to move her hair over past the side of your screen then press the pen into the gap around your screen in order to to keep the hair off your screen. P.S. You need to be carrying a pen or something long and slim. 5: Please be aware that Karen might not even be able to feel where her hair is or where you might be diverting it because that hair might not even be her own—it could have belonged to someone or something else at one time—therefore no nerve sensors at the scalp if you catch my drift. NOTE: In the event this is an insufferable guy with long hair, then you need to change “Karen” to “Dilbert” in the comments above. Cheers to all.

  19. Umm speak up if this happens it is that simply. People aren’t allowed to shove their hair in your face like that. If someone needs a second seat for their hair then they should buy two seats. I never had this happen to me but you can be sure if somebody did that to me that I am saying something and if they are gonna argue the point I am contacting the flight staff. This is just nasty behavior.

  20. We’ve had this very thing happen to us. My wife allowed our (at the time) 10 month old to yank on the woman’s hair. And, get this: she got mad at us and couldn’t see a problem with draping her nasty, greasy, smelly hair over her seat like that. Some people….

  21. No one mentioned opening the tray and closing it with the offending hair in between. Then go to the aft lav for a “long call”.

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