It’s one thing to lie down across a row of seats. It’s another to do it with your shoes and socks off. But it’s something else entirely to prop one of those bare feet up on a try table.
When one airline executive described their new domestic coach cabin – with less legroom, smaller lavatories, and no seat back TVs but faster internet – as a ‘living room experience’ I don’t think this scene from a Seattle – Orange County flight is what they had in mind. You may do this in your own living room, but hopefully not with company over – yet alone in the company of 100 strangers?
The passenger who took the photograph reports that foot man ‘turned to [them] and was like “are you from India?”‘ though they are “very obviously a white American.”
Let’s be clear: tray tables aren’t being cleaned between flights, or in most cases overnight. This is disgusting. Bare feet on a plane is such an awful thing to do to the rest of the passengers in the cabin that a passenger with smelly feet once drove another so nuts that he got stabbed on arrival in the parking lot.
A United Airlines flight attendant reportedly once offered a passenger a $1000 voucher to take their feet off the tray table. I’m confident this was a bluff, that the airline wouldn’t have made good. But they were trying to creatively solve the problem.
It’s never appropriate to show male feet outside of your close circle of contacts. It’s certainly not appropriate on an airplane, where you’re all stuck together inside of a metal tube and where you’re likely invading on someone else’s space. Staying comfy is great as long as it doesn’t take away from the comfort of another passenger.