Passenger With Hair Draped Behind Their Seat Back Prompts Every Seat Mate’s Revenge Fantasies

A passenger hanging their hair over their seat back, in front of the passenger behind them, frequently creates a social media stir. And it immediately prompts fiendish dreams of cutting off the passenger’s hair with a pair of scissors. Fortunately the person trying to work on their laptop on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday had no such impulse – or scissors.

While it may have been a new one for the passenger whose laptop screen had suddenly grown hair, it’s unfortunately not new for a passenger cabin. This is one we’ve seen several times before.

In fact a year ago someone made a TikTok purporting to take revenge on a passenger who draped their hair over the seat back by cutting off some of the hair using nail clippers, sticking a lollipop into the hair, and dipping the hair in coffee. I remain skeptical that it’s real, as much as it fulfills every ‘passenger behaving badly’ fantasy.

The Southwest Airlines passenger didn’t go to that extreme but does say that they closed their tray table on the passenger’s hair.

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. Though this has never happened to me, I now carry a small pair of scissors in my carry-on.

  2. Unfortunately, cutting or otherwise messing with someone’s hair on an aircraft could have legal consequences. Better to simply ask a FA for hair assistance.

  3. I will pretend to sneeze and cough on her hair. She obvious don’t care about her hair enough drape them to strangers.

  4. You know what? I HAVE LONG HAIR. AND I WOULD SERIOUSLY SPEND MY FLIGHT CONTEMPLATING TRIMMING THE OFFENDERS HAIR. What a RUDE, LOWLIFE THING TO DO. YOu don’t have long hair, fling it over the back of a seat and not realize you have thrown it into the lap/face of someone else. I think maybe I’d be sure to have a shoe/foot cover with me and some good old duct tape. I’d put the hair in the cover and then secure the cover high up on the seat back.

  5. I have to agree with Robin … nothing’s too awful for a lowlife that would fling her hair over her seat. It’s so gross you have to wonder if there’s a point to doing this … like 15 minutes of fame? I like the duct tape solution the best. I’d ask precisely ONCE, “please get your hair out of my way.” After that a few casually-placed bits of duct tape that you can easily get into the hair ‘by mistake’ would be the way to go. Love the closing of the tray on the hair, but it’s not enough punishment to teach these idiots a lesson in manners.

  6. You guys are so mean I would never use scissors
    just take chewing gum lots of it as much as you can & spread generously.
    Now that would be a happy ending

  7. Why immediately go to revenge? How about simply speaking with the person? It may be an involuntary action. Don’t assume someone is rude on purpose and then you create a bigger problem.

  8. Scissors, or chewing gum, would be the tort of battery. Much better to politely ask the lady in front of you to remove her hair from your seat. Maybe she’s unaware of the inadvertent trespass?

  9. This would never happen on an American Airlines flight – there would be no IFE to block with hair.

  10. If you have never had to deal with them in your kids hair, you would not understand how Bunchems quite possibly were invented for situations like this.

  11. when you get back into your seat just happen to stumble, grab the back of the seat and plop into your seat pulling her hair then apologize, oops I slipped.

    also maybe you have a little gel of some sort to just put on the seat where her hair is or will be when she gets up.. nothing like a little Rx Cream or vaseline in her hair

  12. Would have been hilarious if Mr. Troupis ran his fingers through the woman’s hair while making ecstasy noises.

  13. I hate when that happens, but I hate articles written with no obvious copy editor. This says “ made a TikTok purporting to take revenue on a passenger who draped their hair over the seat back ” I’m sure Gary meant “revenge”. I know I’ve wanted to take revenge in these situations. Once I did the same thing. Closed my tray and locked it. It was so much hair, the passenger couldn’t pull it free. I had to lower my tray again. She never did it again the rest of the flight. It felt so good!!!!

  14. Before they could take legal action against you they would need to be certain they could prove it was you that cut their hair, or placed any type of sticky substance in their hair. They had to of been at the gate, walked through the terminal, or rode in some type of transportation to get to the airport it could have happened anywhere. I’m a Hair Dresser and long hair like that is filthy. People with long hair are constantly running their fingers through their hair to remove it from their mouth, nose and face etc. Keep in mind they have touched various car handles, door handles, luggage handles, counter tops, banisters on stairs, escalators, elevator buttons, cell phones and that is just after leaving home. Cell phones are especially germ riden. Even if they were OCD and never touched their hair there are air borne pollutants in the environment that hair is subjected to as well as their own dead skin cells and sebum secreted from their glands. Long hair is old hair that is several years old and it is very dry and porous like a sponge. Throwing it into someone’s space is as hideous as if they were to remove their shoes and clip their toenails and toss the clippings behind them. Anyone this rude and thoughtless would probably be confrontational if you asked them to move their hair. By the way I worked for a major Airline for 17 years prior to becoming a Hair Stylist and you are allowed to take nail clippers onto the aircraft. A good pair would easily cut chunks out of their hair.

  15. Perhaps a comment loud enough for her to hear such as “oh, what beautiful hair! So silky smooth! I hope she doesn’t mind me touching it,” might do the trick.
    Or calling out to the FA asking for another air sick bag, because the one in the pocket of the seat in front of you might not be enough.

  16. One warning, ‘excuse me, please remove your hair from my area,’ and then shit’s getting spilled on it.

  17. As an also retired hairstylist, i would take a comb or brush and tease the hell out if it then add the gum. She would be wearing much shorter hair in the future for some time…long enough to have the lesson sink in.

  18. TWEEZEE FOLKS. Begin tweezing. Two or three hairs at a time. That’s an Ouch! When she turns around, say excuse me, must have caught your hair in tray table. Just keep tweezing from time to time if she doesn’t move it. But pulling the follicle will surely change where she tosses that mop.

  19. I guess you paid for the whole seat so you can you can fling your lovely hair where ever you like. No manners, respect and you live in the me, me world. Whatever happens to your hair is deserved!

  20. Yeah and then the girl turns around and you realize it’s a really tall 12 year old. Her parents are both really good lawyers, and they find your video online.

  21. Touching her hair is wrong, and 2 wrongs on a flight will lead to a explosive situation. Get flight attendant and ask them to correct the situation. Maybe miss hair doesn’t have q cmue,clue, she does .Share that video all over so a MISS HAIR’S SEE HOW PATHETIC THEY ARE

  22. Whoever suggested this is unintentionally done…I have been on planes all my life and never seen this and it takes a lot of work to put all that hair over the seat. I can’t buy into that theory.

  23. There isn’t a comment that refers to the owner of the long hair as a male.
    This seems to signal that only females with long hair are inconsiderate or oblivious. Hmm.

  24. These suggestions are left of the aisle and contributes to conflict on an otherwise easy-to-instigate explosive venue 6 to 6 miles up. There was only one suggestion up above that made me lol. Question for you all, that is this one: Does 2 wrongs make 1 right? Answer: No, 2 wrongs does not make 1 right. Social Justice. Peace. Love. Forgiveness. Humanity. Respect – are all good starters in this enclosed environment. Israel’s control over Palestinians lands and the diaspora forced against a people. . .America’s Colonialism and that political, economic system oppressive and most definitely and unequivocally a tragic treatment of a people who were stolen away from their continent, and then, without shame nor hesitation regret, or morse, when they were no longer needed, & after familials had being had been raped both literally and figuratively were told to “go back to where. . .” they were stolen were abused, murdered by the hegemonic.of the white patriarchy. . . .Go ahead you ignorant people start a war at 35k feet. Careful who you start a war. Go ahead start that war not knowing cultural traditions of that person sitting in the seat ahead of you. Go right ahead and watch 350 other people plunge to their death because you acted first before thinking about your self-righteous acts and the impact of your immaturity.

  25. Ask to put her hair inside her seating assignment nicely the first time. Throw her hair back over her face the second time. Put plenty of chewed gum in her hair and squish it firmly

  26. Re: Rebecca Boat

    Filming your own crimes is a new necessity for sheeple. They’d be caught before the plane started it’s decent.

  27. I like the idea of teasing it. That means you hold the bottom of the hair and run your comb backward. It basically puts knots in it but no permanent damage. It will take a long time to straighten out.

    It took me 3 years to grow my hair out. That is a really long punishment for a mistake. Just saying.

  28. Oh my……after reading Rebecca, above, I’m shaving my head.

    And honestly many of these suggestions give what my best friend and I call “perverse pleasure”. Not nice at all, would never do, but releases great brain phins and tins.

    Have a fabulous today folks!

  29. What’s wrong with some of you people? Coming from a person with long hair, first of all I would never purposely do something like that, but the negative nasty things y’all are saying you’d do or have done, make me ashamed to even be human. Couldn’t you just be kind and tell the person they’re invading your space? Or tell a staff member you have an issue with it?

    Like what in the actual heck is wrong with some of you? Horrible example for kids of today.

    And to even read a comment just as nasty from a retired hairdresser. Disgusting. If there’s something bothering you, go about the proper channels to address the issue. Don’t be a Petty Betty!

  30. Take it as a mildly amusing issue that can easily be resolved, rather than some great personal injustice. As Edward says above, why assume the worst of people in this situation? It is exactly this kind of ungenerous view that can create a problem where there is none.

    How hard is it to just tap the person on the shoulder and alert them to the issue? Mostly it will turn out to be totally inadvertent on their part, and they will be apologetic, and even if it wasn’t, they are still going to move their hair. Then no one has to spend half the flight stewing in their own aggrievement, hatching revenge plans against people with long hair.

  31. For decades we have all flown around the world and never once given any thoughts of creating a problem or inconveniencing another person in any way. And I’ve been in the Middle Seat more than I care to admit. I still remember when the biggest “altercation” between passengers was trying to be first passenger to light a cigarette once the no smoking sign went off. I both won ana lost those races. It saddens and angers me that this is no longer the case. Used to be the flying was fun. Today, not so much. One thing I have noticed is that by and large, most of the incidents occurring todayi I’ve noticed that disagreements between passengers almost always involved people who are younger than 45yo. The only thing different is that most of us who were over 45 we’re taught how to carry yourself with honesty and civility. Back in my day, we were benefiting from Home Training.
    The issue with the hair was and is eazy solved. Simply ask FA for a strip of duct tape. Tape the hair to the seat then simply enjoy the show to come while they tried to get up when flight landed.

  32. Reff: Edward Kowalski
    Really….that passenger is either very stupid or very naive not to know how close these seats are that her hair bothers the person in back. She needs to learn manners and maybe the hard way. They are old enough to know.

  33. People who leave their hair flopped over the back of their seats are awful. Happened to me several times. I don’t agree with cutting up but I do carry a small jar of mentholatum cream that just “accidentally” gets onto the offending hair.. Doesn’t damage the hair.

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