Passenger Clips Their Nails On A Flight, Flicks One Onto The Person Beside Them

Before airline deregulation airfare was so expensive that most people couldn’t afford to fly. Now anyone who can buy a ticket is allowed on buses in the sky. There’s no decency requirement, and there shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t make all passenger behavior ok.

Among the worst things you do on a plane – that doesn’t include touching another passenger – are draping your hair over someone else’s seat back, covering their entertainment screen, and sticking your bare feet in the air or on someone else’s tray table.

But maybe the absolute worst is bare feet, clipping toenails at your seat during the flight. And instead of collecting the clippings, you just flick them off, and one lands on your seat opponent?

@traveltmz WHY IS THIS ALLOWED ON PLANES?! 😭😭😭 #traveltmz #noflylist #why #fingernail #distraught ♬ Beethoven Moonlight Sonata-High Sound Quality – Amemiya

What would you do? I admit this one has me a little bit flummoxed. When they started clipping their nails next to me, I’d probably ask them to stop. But someone who’s this antisocial seems just as likely to escalate a conflict as to resolve one. Some responses to the video suggest seeking the help of a flight attendant, and you can do that, some might ask the passenger to stop just like you would. Then the flight attendant leaves, if the passenger doesn’t stop and you seek the flight attendant’s help again (they probably get annoyed with you at this point) then the crewmember might have additional words over your seat opponent’s failure to follow their instructions. Maybe this escalation gets them to stop while you sit next to them for the rest of the flight.

If there’s an empty seat on the aircraft, your best bet may be to move. Ask a flight attendant first, and explain it’s for hygiene. But if there’s nowhere to move, nowhere to run, it’s another situation where you’re stuck next to someone inside of a metal tube where fate places you in an uncomfortable situation.

The alternative is a passive aggressive response. This is not recommended. But how would you torture them back as revenge for their behavior?

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. “There’s no decency requirement, and there shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t make all passenger behavior ok.”

    That is inconsistent.

    I’d tell in no uncertain terms to knock it off. “You’re not at home in your bathroom.”

    If she wants to escalate it, fine with me. Then I press the call button.

  2. First I ask. If no change in behavior I take the clippers out of their hand and the look on my face and in my eyes would say “go ahead and complain and you will suffer badly at arrival bitch!”

  3. @Ray:

    You are either an armchair warrior, a troll, and/or not too bright.

    You are on a packed plane (which aren’t these days). Others are going to see what you do and hear what you say.

    “I take the clippers out of their hand.”

    Congrats. You just committed a felony robbery. Well done.

    “go ahead and complain and you will suffer badly at arrival bitch!”

    You just made a terrorist threat. Yes, such a statement fits within the parameters of the federal law.

    You are looking at two felonies.

    You might want to reconsider your misguided plan.

  4. Simply video taping the offender including their face, (zero laws regarding this as long as you, yourself are included in the video) and let them know clearly that their behavior is disgusting, gross, and will be put on the Internet where their nastiness will go viral should shut down most people. If not, there’s no hope for such a bridge dwelling troll.

  5. Remember that roughly half of all people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom.

    People are simply thoughtless. Epimetheus.

  6. This is a new” low low of the lowest low!!,” circumstance, you are trapped there in that metal tube without much you can really do, pathetic!!!

  7. Taking nail clippers is not a felony. At most it’s a misdemeanor and probably not even that. The threat was probably not a terroristic threat. It’s an implied threat at most.

  8. @Arturo S.:

    Someone speaking who is not a lawyer.

    You are simply wrong. Physically removing something from someone’s hand against their will is robbery.

    Go learn some law before posting your ignorance here.

    And I guess you don’t know what a terrorist threat is either.

  9. At least the offending passenger wasn’t smearing feces on the tray table or something like that! I did see a passenger recently on a UA domestic flight pick his nose for almost the whole two-hour flight and then flick the snot into the aisle. Gotta love air travel these days!

  10. I had a barefooted woman next to me in first class who proceeded to not cut her nails but was filing them with an emery board as her nail filings went airborne and everyplace else.
    If that wasn’t bad enough she started painting her toenails and fingernails with nail polish
    The smell alone was obnoxious first using nail polish remover which stinks even worse. All this was before take off
    Luckily she was removed from first class by the FA who saw she had a coach ticket and I was spared hours sitting next to this piece of work.

  11. Maybe you could flick a booger or two at the toenail offender…a little tit for tat even though I know I’d be stooping down to their level.

  12. I was once at a party and a person near me was cleaning the dirt from under his fingernails and of course a large piece of it fell into my champagne glass and foamed!! People with No manners are everywhere.

  13. @ 1KBrad: it might be robbery, but it ain’t a felony unless the law says it is. Kindly cite the provision in federal law applicable to the confiscation of nail clippers by a passenger when the airplane in which the act is committed is on the ground.
    If there’s no federal law governing the act, kindly cite the appropriate state provision.

  14. @1KBrad yes, agreed, I’m absolutely certain USDOJ would prosecute someone for a felony over temporary removal by one person of toenail clippers that belong to another. Brilliant deduction by you and of course would be quite the use of those endless USDOJ resources. Someone make this man head of DOJ already.

  15. @1KBrad. If you really want to get technical removing the clippers from her hand is misdemeanor theft. Not robbery. And I don’t know about the terroristic part but to me a threat is a threat. It can get you in trouble.

  16. @ Carol Lewis: Where did you go to law school?

    Hint: you’re wrong. Taking it from her hand is a robbery. If she set it down and you picked it up, that’s theft.

  17. @1KBrad Whatever you want to call it when you take her clippers you might have a problem. It’s her property. It’s not expensive so maybe it wouldn’t be a major ordeal. Then again it depends.

  18. @Carol Lewis: “Whatever you call it.”

    No, it’s what the law calls it and you have zero idea how it would be handled.

    Why are you posting ignorant nonsense?

  19. @1KBrad. When you rob someone I read it is done with force such as a gun or knife and/or threats. This scenario had the threat coming after the clippers were taken and there was no weapon. Why do you want to be ignorant and keep arguing over nonsense? This didn’t even happen. It was a what if situation. What is ignorant nonsense about what I said? You take something that doesn’t belong to you whatever the legal term for it. The more valuable the item the more serious the punishment. Nail clippers are not a felony. The person they were taken from could let it go or raise a stink. Nowadays it could go verbal or physical. Why don’t you let it go now? You need to be right about everything. No body is right all the time. Not even you.

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