Passenger's 'Annoying' Behavior During Flight Sparks Debate: 'Wrong'

An image shared on Reddit showing an airline passenger with their long hair left to dangle over the food tray of the passenger seated behind them has seen Redditors divided.

The picture, simply captioned: "my view for most of my 3 hour flight," was shared by user dashb0y in a post that received 17,900 upvotes on the subreddit r/trashy at the time of publishing.

The user told Newsweek that "it didn't bother me that much," explaining that in reality, the passenger's hair "was like that for like twenty minutes." They added: "I may have enhanced the story."

User lilHempco described the incident as "annoying yes, trashy nope," while user StevenBielanin said it was: "Wrong."

Several people have suggested some creative ways to get the passenger to move their hair, while others have said it's best to simply ask the passenger to do so.

User MisallocatedRacism suggested: "Close the tray on it" in a comment that received 1,200 upvotes at the time of reporting.

User NinjaCaviar wrote: "If you get an inconsiderate reaction, you start messing with their hair. Just tangle that s**t, start tying knots," in a comment that got 807 upvotes.

Several suggested sneezing on the hair, such as user damjunk who said: "a good sneeze and a loud 'Aww yuck' will get the hair moved quick too," in a comment that received 214 upvotes.

Some suggested "accidentally" dropping a piece of gum on the hair (as noted by users prplx, Gurkeprinsen and others) or sniffing the hair, as suggested by user VileStench who said: "One really loud, long sniff, and then 'wow, you're hair smells sooooooo good' whispered through the crack."

User mrmicawber32 recommended dipping the hair in a jar of jam, while user I_LOVE_PUPPERS suggested getting "a large tomato juice when you order your drink, dunk hair in it, leave to soak. Voila."

Others said it's best to get the airline staff to address the issue. User Partayof4 wrote: "So? Get the air hostess to manage it," in a comment that got 144 upvotes.

User derth21 suggested the same, noting: "Flight attendants do not feel shame whatsoever and that hair will be gone pronto."

User Alamander81 wrote: "That's what I'd honestly probably do. I'd discretely tap the hostess and timidly point at the hair" in a comment that got 98 comments.

In another comment, Alamander81 wrote: "My line of thinking would be if they're a big enough asshole to do it in the first place they'll probably have a really bad reaction if you ask them to move it," which received 1,200 upvotes.

Others said politely asking the passenger to move their hair is the best solution.

User okeydokeyish wrote: "This happened to me on a recent flight. I asked the woman to remove her hair, she scowled at me but did it. Problem solved. You just need to speak up" in a comment that got 2,300 upvotes.

User Tsukune_Surprise said: "This happens every now and then. I usually just tap them on the shoulder and say 'excuse me, your hair looks great but I don't want it to get caught in the tray or seat. You should probably move it' and that's it. Worked every time - so far" in a comment that received 137 upvotes.

User emusmakemehungry wrote: "I mean I have really long hair...I could see this happening and me not noticing it. And I wouldn't mind at all if someone asked me to move it. Not everyone is an asshole intentionally trying to piss off those around them. Just ask," in a comment that got 116 upvotes.

User ginger260 agreed, noting there are people who are "just oblivious" to the fact that their hair could be bothering the person behind them. "I see a lot more people that are inconsiderate than outright malicious...far too often in society I think we make assumptions of people's motives when the fact is we don't know what's going on in another person's head," in a comment that got 70 upvotes.

User CaliValiOfficial also said the passenger may have "zero idea that it's even affecting the person behind her."

Tough Job for Flight Attendants

According to a survey by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA) published in late July 2021, more than 85 percent of Flight Attendants dealt with "unruly passengers" in 2021, while nearly one in five experienced physical incidents in the same year.

A March 2018 study published by the journal Tourism Analysis showed that aggression and violence were "the most unacceptable forms of unruly passenger behavior (UPB)," with "educational and cultural background, frequency of travel, and duration of flight" being "the main factors influencing participants' acceptance of UPB."

Update 6/15/22, 11:01 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from the original poster dashb0y.

Passengers seated aboard a plane.
Passengers seated aboard a plane. An image of hair dangling over the food tray on the back of a passenger seat has sparked debate on Reddit. iStock/Getty Images Plus