Travel Etiquette Tip: Don’t Clip Your Fingernails In a Plane. Thank you.

My best friend had quite the interesting trip home from Atlanta last month. You’ve already heard about the gate changes she had to deal with, but that was way better than what happened actually on her flight.

She sits down in her seat, gets comfy, and goes to sleep. After about half an hour, she keeps hearing funny noises that wake her up. Click. She looks around. Click. What the heck is that? Click, click, click….. She finally stands up to stretch her legs, and to see if she can figure out where the noise is coming from. It turns out that it is a woman, behind her, clipping her fingernails. With an actual fingernail clipper. When she told me this story, my immediate response was, “No way.” I just couldn’t believe that anyone would do that. But I was wrong, because that woman was clipping her fingernails. On the plane. Wow.

Friends, please do not do this. Ever. In fact, I would say don’t clip your fingernails in public, ever. But on a plane, in my opinion, it is even more offensive due to the close proximity everyone has with their neighbor. Can you imagine sitting next to someone clipping their nails? <<shudder>> Filing your nails is better, but I don’t think I would do that on a plane either. Again, the proximity.

Readers, what is the rudest thing you’ve ever seen while traveling?


  1. super disgusting. i have seen a man clip his TOE NAILS while waiting at the gate to board. i have also witnessed a co-worker clip his fingernails at his desk. inappropriate. the sound alone makes me want to cover my head to avoid flying nail schrapnel.

  2. I’ve seen people clipping nails in the terminal but not toe nails! Gross.

    I’ve also been in a couple hundred person staff meeting and had a colleague clip his nails during the presentation.

    I am 100% against all public nail clipping too.

  3. I once sat next to a person who had his headphones cranked ALL the way up on a red-eye. Fortunately another passenger in our row asked him to turn them down (I had ear plugs and wasn’t too bothered).

    My gf will sometimes curl up in her seat with her feet in the air after taking off her shoes. Ugh. She’s a heavy sleeper so I just push them down.

  4. I have been to Asia before and the culture differences have themselves to some pretty interesting experiences.

    1. Old Korean lady yelled at me to give up my seat, even though there tons of empty seats all around me, including in front of me.

    2. I opened a window on a bus, and a Korean guy closed it – on my elbow. We had a “discussion” about this, even though I could not speak Korean, I think I got my message across.

    3. Riding a city bus in China, one of the passengers felt a need to clear his throat by promptly spitting on the floor. Of the bus. Yeah. I have seen Chinese people spit everywhere, even restaurants. How can you out-rude that?

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