Airline Passenger Lies Down And Props Their Bare Foot On A Tray Table, ‘This Is Not Your Living Room’

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?

I absolutely hate it when people do this
by u/ErmineOfMight in mildlyinfuriating

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.

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. To paraphrase Jeff Greene on Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Not even my doctor has seen my feet.”

  2. More horrible stuff from folks. But, I don’t get this from you Gary:

    “It’s never appropriate to show male feet outside of your close circle of contacts”

    What…? I mean, many people walk around in public in flip flops when it’s hot, as do I. What’s the big deal?

  3. Airplanes are public spaces where we come together from various backgrounds and cultures. It is essential to recognize that the shared environment calls for a certain level of decorum and awareness of others’ personal space. The act of propping one’s bare foot on a tray table not only lacks basic hygiene but also disregards the comfort and sensibilities of those seated nearby.

  4. “When one airline executive their new domestic coach cabin…” This clause no verb.

  5. Was in the Alaska lounge in PDX the other day and they had a sign asking to please keep feet off of the tables. I wondered who would do such a thing that they would need such a sign. Well, now I know.

  6. “It’s never appropriate to show male feet outside of your close circle of contacts.”

    What do you do at the beach? Are you wearing shoes all around the property in the Maldives? Just because your feet are disgusting doesn’t mean that the rest of us don’t take care of ours!

  7. “It’s never appropriate to show male feet outside of your close circle of contacts.”

    Have you ever been to Austin?

  8. This isn’t even as bad as it can be. I was on an AA redeye where the guy in my row used only 2 seats as a poor man’s lie flat. Well of course the jerk chose to prop his feet up only a few inches from me.

  9. @Richard: If Gary was graded on the number of his posts containing no grammatical/spelling errors, he would fail. It has to be well under half.

    I’d always heard it was extremely challenging to be a professional writer, but apparently the bar is lower for unprofessional ones.

  10. “It’s never appropriate to show male feet outside of your close circle of contacts.”

    Yeah, I just can’t get on board with this. So no flip flops? Ever? I’ve flown I them on occasion – I try not to in case (god forbid) something goes wrong with TSA and I don’t have socks – but it seems perfectly reasonable attire, climate permitting. We don’t wear suits for planes anymore.

  11. Agree with BarbN: Male feet? This outrageous sexism is a compelling reason never to visit this site again.

  12. Bare feet are never appropriate in a public space. And I count zoris and sandals too. They are for poolside/beach where we are properly distanced. And it’s all feet ladies, men, old & young. A few years back after having some random’s feet in my sight for over 10 hours, I became ill. Nobody wants that.

  13. Feet are good. They allow you to stand and walk. Feet are bad if they are not your own though. I don’t want to see anyone’s feet even if they are clean and the toes are polished. There is something primal about bare feet that need not be shared if you want to leave a positive impression. Show me your feet and I want to show you the door. Feet on a table tray leads me to want to cut off those toes. Hmmm.

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