Passenger Takes Revenge On Man With Feet On Couch In United Airlines Airport Lounge

Boorish passenger behavior doesn’t just happen on board the aircraft. It happens into the supposedly rarified air of airline members’ only clubs. But just as passengers have gotten worse in the air, as air travel has democratized, so too has behavior inside the lounges.

In airport lounges people shovel food and drink into their bags, and stick their feet up on the furniture, going to sleep on couches, and generally acting as though these ‘nicer’ spaces are U.N.-administered refugee camps.

One airline passenger saw another’s behavior, and decided to take reform into their own hands. The man was laying down with his feet up on a couch inside a United Airlines club. And that’s verboten.

There are two reasons everyone should know that feet don’t belong on the furniture inside an airport United Club:

  • Anyone alive after 1982 should know the simple maxim: “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Dice”

  • United actually has signs that instruct passengers not to put their feet on the club furniture.

As this passenger pondered what to do he considered waking up the man “gently” and asking him to remove his feet from the sofa, and he considered pointing out the behavior to club staff.

Instead he came up with something better. He moved the no shoes allowed sign onto the couch this man was sleeping on and took a photo.


Credit: Ari

What would you do if you saw a passenger sleeping with their feet on the furniture in an airport lounge?

Some of you might defend the man, but (1) it’s explicitly not allowed – lounges aren’t nap rooms; (2) he’s taking up more space than necessary inside a lounge and lounges have gotten crowded; and (3) you probably wouldn’t do this at the home of an acquaintance?

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. I’ve tossed peoples shoes in the garbage at the airport a couple of times. Don’t embarrass them online, just throw their shoes out.

  2. It’s one thing if that passenger was preventing others from taking a seat in the lounge. If not, then the remarks about his breaking the rules, the danger from bacteria & the like (what do people think hand sanitizer’s for? why are they putting their unwashed hands on their faces?) are callous.
    Alas, the world is full of self-righteous folk who know the “rules” and resent anyone who fails to follow them.
    Some of these will self-appoint as monitors to punish the offenders.
    For following the rules, they may have their rewards like the Pharisees in the Christian New Testament. “I thank thee, G-d, that I am not like other men…” but their lack of consideration, of empathy, merely shows they’ve never learned the lesson of “there, but for the grace of G-d, go I.”

  3. To the guy saying who cares about breaking rules? Um if they had told the attendants they would have asked him not to do it. I’d rather not snitch on someone but feet on community furniture in an already germ filled place is not okay. The guy is rude for doing the opposite of what the posted note says. Period. The end. If it’s not a big deal there would be no signs stating otherwise. Idk why someone need’s to explain that to you. But you seem a bit dense.

  4. The guy is a jerk. Therefore deserves to be treated as such. It doesn’t mean he will change. It wouldn’t be worth my time to waste any on him.

  5. The guy is not hurt a thing, get a blanket and place over him so he can get a good nape. I was napping years ago, when I felt something, I looked up and a flight attendant went got a blanket an placed over me. Never forgot her act of kindness, we need less complaining and more kindness, get him a blanket.

  6. When clubs allow anyone in with a credit card, this is what you get.

    Flying weekly for work, I earn my access with Delta (until next year when they get rid of the individual membership). Easily 50% of the people in there are rude and are inconsiderate of others. Clubs also need to have kid free ones. Last week at LGA, I was working on my laptop (on my lap) and there was an 8-10 year old girl doing cartwheels right by me. Nothing against kids…but a business lounge should be for business people.

  7. You guys are tripping.
    He doesn’t have his feet up on the table. It’s down on the sofa – you know where the butts are. Most lounges have recliners or ottomans. He took his shoes off, so no risk of damaging the fabric. Guy looks old, feet probably in pain. Give him a break. No one cares FOR others any more, just about getting in there business.

  8. After getting stuck in the airport for 60 hours where all the hotels were too full and no rental cars available, with mistakes by the airline themselves causing me to be stuck in the airport, and having both a lower back tissue injury and knee injury (weight lifting), I not only don’t care about the “rules” here, but also resent most people who travel by air and are rude about other people having to be in the airport. The irony of the people who are upset about this is that are also generally the narcissistic aholes that won’t let toddlers sit with their parents because the parent “should have booked the seats next to each other earlier” when, in fact, it’s often because they got bumped to another flight where those are the only seats, or has to last minute fly and there weren’t other seats available.

  9. Where is the problem? The stupid TSA makes you walk through everyone elses athletes foot and clostridium germs without shoes.
    This is mild.

  10. Perhaps if USA lounges had recliner/chaise lounge seats and a designated “quiet area” or similar like most international lounges do, people could take their rest there and not have to deal with noise, children, and breaking the rules just to close their eyes for a little while…

  11. That’s on a couch , how would you like someone’s feet on your side sleeping in the plane. I was on a long flight from Korea to LAX and woke up with feet moving on my side. Put blanket and pillow to block it but she keeps moving. Called the flight attendant and she tried to move her feet but nothing, so I ask if I can move so I can get some sleep., they shouldn’t let people lay down like that if there other people not related to them. So disgusting.

  12. It is ok for Americans to wear dirty shoes at home, get into bed in street shoes, put feet in dirty street shoes on desk or table, come to the hospital in muddy work shoes, walk in socks outside. But it is not ok when a person took off his street shoes , laid down and stretched his feet in CLEAN WHITE SOCKS between long flights. Nation of weirdos.

  13. If they’re a sound sleeper I use a marker to write ” ^This End Up^ ” on their forehead. Or, I pour a glass of water on their lap and when they wake up I yell, “Dude, you peed your pants”.

    Both techniques are very effective at discouraging them from doing such an egregious act again.

  14. Maybe the guy has an illness that you can’t see..like leukemia or css or whatever would make him want lie down. Mind ur own effen business, be kind and find the guy a blanket.

  15. Leave the man alone, he’s not hurting anyone. Obviously he’s very tired, and I’m sure that’s not his preference of a bed. You have never walked in that man’s shoes, so you don’t know what he has been through. Besides he took his d shoes off. Give the man a break! Please! Don’t be a bully!

  16. Seriously to all of those who think rules do not apply to them. Get real! That goes for running, stop signs and speeding on the freeway. Again, those rules are rules and if the airline has those rules posted and people should have abide by them. Or next time take the train or the Greyhound. And this is coming from a moderate Democrat. ( Btw My Republican neighbors run stop signs too! ) I don’t think it makes a difference anymore. What side of the political arena of you’re on… If you’re going to break rules, you’re going to break rules because most of these people who do it anyway care less about anybody else but themselves!

  17. Maybe if the airlines didnt make it impossible for passenger to get rest we wouldnt have this problem. The airlines charge big fees to provide weary flierz a place to catch some needed rest. Denying them any hope of that is inhumanr and sick. These are not homeless they have been thrpugh secuirty and paid a lot for their flights. Stoo being jetks.

  18. I’d hide his shoes. Maybe one row over or something. Bet he’d never do it again.

  19. Even better look on his baggage and see if hes got any identification or an address and just post it with the picture and let the world take care of it

    And then of course tell management and let them wake him up which would be great with that sign right at his feet

    If there’s no cameras around a little glob of shaving cream in one of his shoes might work not a lot just a little just enough to make him wonder

  20. Flying from Mich to New York then London to Norway. Got on the plane and found several women from India laying across four seats each. Would have thought the stewardess would ask them to sit up

  21. “lounges aren’t nap room”

    Now that’s funny. Anyone who travels a lot has napped in lounges. I usually find an out of the way spot. The only time I’ll lie down is when the lounge is empty. (WiFi was out at BA lounge in T5 LHR, and it was deserted)

  22. @May. And just who are the peasants? It could be in the sight of Heaven YOU are the peasant.

  23. While I chuckled at the idea of hiding or throwing his shoes away, I’d never do it. I also thought about making some remark about this guy’s probable political affiliation, but, this isn’t about politics or anything. It’s a guy who put his clean socked feet up on a sofa in an airport lounge. BFD people need to get over themselves and learn how to mind their own business. Nobody knows what this guy is feeling or dealing with. That doesn’t really matter anyway. MYFB and you might even be a little bit happier yourself

  24. I suspect this story has received the most replies of any Gary has posted — by far.

    I find that fascinating.

  25. I’m glad I don’t have to fly like I use too. I remember a flight from Gatwick, UK to Miami, FL to Jacksonville, FL i forget the airline as this was 2005. I was flying Business Class so the flight from Gatwick to Miami was rather uneventful. The food was excellent, I do remember that. We got into Miami early after 12 hours in the air. Next on to Jacksonville,FL. The layover was 7 hours. By the time they called for boarding I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was the last to get on the plane and made it on the plane and laid across the seats (the flight was rather empty) of the row in the rear, we entered from the rear of the plain. Next thing I got woken up by the flight attendant, they had done everything they needed to before waking me up. I was so thankful to them.

    I feel for people who have to fly at all nowadays. Where has the humanity gone?

  26. Wake it up. “Get your feet off the couch, this isn’t your living room”. Simple as that.

  27. @Jesda Gulati This life and Earth is not the end. There is a better place coming. A place called Heaven. I believe this with all my heart and soul. If I am wrong (which I’m not) I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Faith is the key. Until then I live in Texas. That’s pretty darn close to Heaven. God bless Texas! ♥

  28. We can thank the Deregulation Act of 1978. Ever since proces dropped, the riff-raff floodgates have been a flowin’. In tandem with that, is the aeroplane company, whose name ends with the word BUS. We’ve taken what was an awesome experience in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and diluted it down to being held captive in a tube with criminals at 35000 feet. The horror!

  29. Typical today absolutely NOOO more Manners anymore..rude stupid humans classless in USA!
    All about me me me…
    Flying is like riding the Greyhound bus now a days! Especially on domestic flights.

  30. It was a United airlines lounge, so in fairness to the guy. It’s likely they lost his shoes.

  31. Why are people so darn ignorant or pretend as if they can’t read signs posted they are posted for a reason because of azz whips like the idiot he is… cancel their tickets if they cannot acted like normal people… this entire world has gone crazy…thinking they are above God… NEWS FLASH! you are NOT so get your sorry BUTT up and act like you got the sense God gave you

  32. I don’t see the big deal since his shoes were off. Better than a person’s butt on the furniture. I take the sign to mean with shoes.

  33. You must be kidding me, people getting shot left and right in the US daily and you are upset about someone put there feet on the couch? Let him get a good nap which might avoid an inflight unruly passenger incident.

  34. As a blind passenger, I don’t need to be able to read signs to understand it’s not okay to stretch out on public seating. As long as we’re talking about being more considerate, isn’t equally inconsiderate to stretch out and fall asleep and potentially take up space that could have been used by a weary family? If the person is in the lounge, one can reasonably assume the person has the means to get proper accommodations if exhaustion is the cause, even with credit cards that open lounges to broader segments. So, I won’t jump to the front of the line just for being blind, and you keep your hind paws off the furniture. That’ll give me space to sit next to you and discuss Gary’s rationale for writing what he does. 🙂

  35. You are all woke muppets.
    Where has society gone? Are we so fucked that is so difficult to understand no feet on the furniture. Period. Who cares about how long his layover or what his deal is. He should be asked to sit up and if not get the f out.
    I would get the Airline staff to do their Job and stop being afraid to speak to these slobs.
    If this happened elsewhere in the world, they would give you one chance and then any lip, lock you up.
    We might need a little bit of this tough love in america, as we have lost our backbone and cohones.
    Have some respect, culture, class. When you travel you represent your self and culture to the world.

  36. How many of you pack their street shoes into their suitcases without putting them in a (plastic) bag beforehand? So that the outer soles of your shoes, with which you possibly waded through dog feces, bird shit, human vomit and piss before, touch your clothes inside the suitcase. I see that in youtube traveller tips videos all the time. Disgusting.

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