Travel Tips

Is it Illegal to Paint Your Nails Inflight?

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Frequent flyers know it’s not done, but for many casual travelers it comes as a shock that you can’t give yourself a manicure (or pedicure) in flight.

Is it illegal? No. But most airlines prohibit it even if they don’t have an official policy. You’ll only risk jail time or police involvement if you refuse to comply with crew member instructions.

So why can’t you apply another topcoat or add some color while stuck in your seat? I’m sure the airlines would offer multiple reasons, but to me the most compelling is health. Planes recycle the cabin air, so opening that nail polish is subjecting your fellow passengers to those noxious fumes for the entire flight.

That’s also a good reason to refrain from applying heavy perfume, hairspray, and other heavily scented products. And of course you should never trim your nails and deposit the clippings in someone else’s shoe…

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