American Airlines Passenger Scolded By Crew For Propping His Leg Up On A Tray Table

A Delta Air Lines flight attendant traveling on American took a photo of a passenger laying down across a row of coach seats, with one of their feet in the air – and leg propped up by a tray table. Airlines do not clean and sanitize tray tables between flights.

The crewmember, who generally works Delta’s Airbus A220s, noted that the man didn’t just put his feet on the tray table – he was “wiggling them all flight.”

There’s no rule against this per se, but she flagged down a member of the cabin crew on the American Airlines Boeing 737. She pointed out the extreme breach of etiquette, and that flight attendant “immediately addressed the situation.” He didn’t put his feet back on the tray table the rest of the flight.

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. Well, it’s so nice to know that only men’s feet can be smelly and nasty while those of women are dewy fresh and clean as the newly fallen snow ! While it is certainly uncouth to put your feet or legs on a tray table for anyone, why discriminate against males?

    Hogwash !

  2. Nobody wants to see anyone’s nasty feet up on the airlines’ furniture like that. I don’t care if you’re Pamela Anderson or Brad Pitt. It’s called having etiquette, something most people lack these days!

  3. Having a broken tray table is annoying and getting a passenger to quit using one in an inappropriate manner is a good decision.

  4. From what I’ve read about Brad Pitt, this guys feet are probably a lot cleaner than his. In his defence, this customer really does have nice clean feet…probably cleaner than a lot of things customers routinely put on tray tables (i.e. tissues, trash, dirty napkins, newspapers).

  5. People have no etiquette these days because they are allowed to behave like feral animals in public. Wear clothing with obscenities? That’s fine. Want to walk around with your ass or junk hanging out? Please, go right ahead. Want to behave like you are on a private jet where no one and nothing else matters? By all means.

    I am by no means a prude, but there needs to be a minimum socially-acceptable standard for behavior and appearance in public. That standard is not one that caters to the lowest common denominator, but one that reflects some standard of decency. People like this should be shamed right off the plane and on to the wing. It’s uncouth, unsanitary and just trashy.

    What the F is wrong with people?

  6. Since the tray tables are not cleaned/disinfected between each flight I’m pretty sure I’ll bring disinfecting wipes to my next flight.

  7. OMG male feet should never be shown in public outside your immediate circle? How do you ever handle going to a public pool or the beach??

  8. @Denis A Bekaert I don’t think they were trying to say that women don’t smell. In this case it just happened to be a man. It should have been left out about male feet and said feet period. Usually people tell nasty and outdated jokes about women’s private parts smelling. I get the same feeling when I hear that. Men can smell too. It’s not just women.

  9. What’s the big deal it’s only feet if they are clean who cares many peoples hands are much dirtier than their feet

  10. @Certified When parts go unwashed-private and otherwise they can sweat and smell. That’s where toothpaste, mouthwash, soap and antiperspirant/deodorant come in the picture.

  11. Sweat is itself odorless, but bacteria growth due to sweaty conditions could lead to odors. Washing is certainly encouraged–with the correct products.

    Toothpaste should only be used on teeth. Mouthwash is frivolous to actively harmful for most people. The mouth is host to “good” bacteria but mouthwash indiscriminately cleans it all. Ask a dentist about your individual circumstances.

    Soap could mean a lot of things, some of which don’t belong in or near privates. Ask a physician.

    Antiperspirant is also potentially harmful. Sweat is a means for your body to cool down. Overheating is an acute health hazard. Deodorant should be okay but many common ingredients are irritants to many people. My favorite deodorant is the unscented sensitive (baking soda-free) stick from Native. I’ve never seen it in stores, but Native sells D2C online.

  12. as Rush Limbaugh said on his dying bed his last words were. The dummy down of America is complete.

  13. @Certified People can sweat and cool down without it being under their arms. When sweat is in that area there is stink.
    A closed up area and hair under the arms traps smell too. My dentist has recommended Listerene and says it’s one of the best for dental care. Somehow I never considered using toothpaste except on my teeth. Soap to me is just that: soap. It definitely not only gets near my privates it goes on them and every other parts I have. Except shampoo on the hair on my head. I don’t wash my body with dish or laundry soap if that what you’re thinking. Why consult my doctor and/or dentist? It seems now I have an expert in personal hygiene with you.

  14. @Joe D. Two things I think about considering the dumbing down of America is people not being able to tell time by clocks unless all the numbers are there and not knowing cursive writing. Also I enjoyed learning shorthand. It doesn’t hurt to know these things.

  15. I am an expert in personal hygiene. That much is without doubt. As an expert I know that individual humans are too variable to give definite answers online. You may have extenuating circumstances. That is why consultation with a professional is highly urged.

    You might be surprised to know deodorant is not used in many parts of the world like Asia, not because of ignorance, but because of genetics that inhibit underarm odor even when sweating.

    Listerine comes in different forms. The newer ones tend to be more gentle, but hardly serve the traditional purpose of killing bacteria (which is, I reiterate, not necessarily a good thing). The original formulation has a lot more alcohol which could dry out your mouth and lead to problems. Listerine as with all items sold with a Drug Facts label have side effects. The severity of these effects is best evaluated in a consultation with a professional who is familiar with your individual circumstances. I have never seen your teeth. I stand by my general recommendation, as it matches the American Dental Association recommendation, that mouthwash should not be used by most people.

  16. Slightly horrified that at least some of Gary’s readers don’t use soap to wash their private parts.

  17. @JoeD – and Rush Limbaugh was certainly a major contributor to the “dumming down of America”.

  18. The fact that there are so many comments on this piece is almost as disturbing as the plain and simple fact that sitting in a plane with your bare feet propped up on a tray table is simply gross. End of story. No lectures needed about soap, deodorants etc. Just say: this man was behaving in a gross uncivilised covulised fashion.

  19. “It’s never appropriate to show male feet outside of your close circle of contacts” but female feet are ok? Umm this is a really creepy distinction Gary.

  20. @jimc. Rush was the best guy in the world to prove that Darwin was right. Life is a banquet and there are poor suckers starving to death and there are those that have not a clue where to find the table

  21. @Tomri And then there are those unfortunate ones who are put down for finding the table and not pushing away and putting their fork and spoon down soon enough.

  22. @ Certified

    How many flight have you taken around Asia next to someone who has not bathed in a while?

  23. @ Certified. Really, “personal hygiene expert?” cogito ergo sum
    @ SOBE ER DOC. I seldom completely agree with all your posts but you got this one exactly right.

  24. @Joe D

    “as Rush Limbaugh said on his dying bed his last words were. The dummy down of America is complete.”

    Oh the irony…

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