Feet on the Bulkhead in First Class?

I don’t like the bulkhead in domestic first class, and especially the bulkhead window, it tends to be pretty claustrophobic and will often prefer the bulkhead in coach, an economy plus style coach aisle, or an emergency exit row.

So I don’t know that I think it’s fair to beat up on the person who gets into the first class cabin last and is stuck in the bulkhead. They don’t get to keep their personal items at their feet for takeoff or landing, either.

And I suppose it’s a small miracle that I should be thankful for that the guy in front of me on Sunday’s transcon was at least wearing shoes when he had his feet up high against the bulkhead. I’ve been sitting up front when people in bare feet are doing that. Heck, I’ve even had the displeasure of watching people clip their toenails in first class. During. Dinner. Service.

Still, it bothers me, and I’m wondering if it’s just a pet peeve of mine and if others consider it reasonable. Plenty of people out there must think there’s nothing wrong with it, given the frequency with which people do it.

Tell me — and thereby validate if I’m normal or a bit meshugais it ok for a person sitting in the bulkhead row to stick their feet up high against the bulkhead? Is the bulkhead an appropriate (chest level) foot rest?

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. People are idiots. I think that covers a lot.

    Bloggers are no better, by the way. I see another prominent “expert” travel blogger showing pictures of himself seated in first class wearing flip-flops and gym shorts. Keepin’ it classy, bloggers!

  2. Two thoughts come to mind reading these astute comments…..I want to go buy an electric car and never fly again and barring that due to the Atlantic Ocean I hope few if any airline executives read this as they would probably react with just “let the pigs eat cake”…….

  3. This makes me laugh!!! Of course you shouldn’t have your feet on the bulkhead. It’s rude and unclassy.

  4. While I don’t agree with putting feet, in any state of undress, “all over the bulkhead”, I just don’t understand why so many are repulsed by bare feet. Are feet in flip flops or strappy open-toe sandals not essentially the same??? If odor is the concern, well, SHOES are the culprits there. Odor causing fungus and bacteria thrive in warm, damp, dark environments. Closed-toe shoes are great incubators! You all may want to re-think bare feet.

  5. It is a slovenly thing to do. Same as putting your feet up on your walls at home. I own an airplane. If somebody put their feet/shoes up on one of my bulkhead surfaces, I’d…….

    People who are pigs ..are pigs…

    And I am in 3F on an MD80 as I type this note, and guess where the feet are of the slob next to me?

  6. This is an old post but what the heck!
    I fly first class (being crammed next to strangers just doesn’t work for me, I appreciate the attentive service, and I refuse to fret about overhead space). If I get stuck with a bulkhead seat, you’d better believe I’m kicking my feet up. I’m only 32 but very thin and have issues with vericose veins and clotting risks. My feet don’t stink (it takes a lot for me to sweat at all) so I take my clean, well-kept designer shoes off and prop my odorless feet -covered with clean bright white or solid black socks- right up there!
    I don’t touch anyone, bother anyone, or in any way affect other passengers (in any meaningful way). If you’re “offended” too bad. I smell good, I smile gently, and if the worst thing you can come up with is that you don’t like what I’ve chosen to do with my feet (which are nowhere near you) then I’d say your life is pretty worry-free.

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