The One Feature Planes Need More Than Anything Else

“What’s grosser than gross?” I’ve had the pleasure of watching a fellow first class passenger clip their toenails during dinner service.

But this is even worse.

And so is this.

In fact, defiling an Etihad first class suite with bare men’s feet seems to me the worst of all. Well, except for the people who use airplane lavatories barefoot only to find that Matt Lauer peed on the seat.

Now comes word that hidden cameras will be used on trains and buses in the UK to catch passengers who put their feet on seats.

Hidden cameras are to be used to catch bus and train passengers resting their feet on seats.

The stealth body cameras will be used to prosecute those who commit the antisocial behaviour on the Merseyrail network in Merseyside.

A new survey found passengers find people with their feet on seats as “intimidating and confrontational”.

…If caught first case offenders can avoid court by admitting their guilt and paying a £50 admin cost.

Anyone who repeats the offence, or behaves in an antisocial manner again, could be fined up to £350.

With cameras everywhere already maybe they’re the one thing that’s missing from airplane cabins.

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. Bare feet on display up high, not nice. Shoes off but socks on and being reasonably discreet at your own seat with accompanying good hygiene (no odor) on a 10 hour plus international flight, perfectly reasonable. Certainly no need for this on a four hour flight though.

  2. I thought based on the headline this would be a rant for good coffee/cappuccino machines.

  3. @Gary did you have a traumatizing experience with your feet as a child? I don’t mean that as an insult, its a serious question. You seem to have a fascination with people who relax with their feet bare. If you are going to have a multiple hour flight, and your feet are clean, there is NOTHING wrong with putting your feet up. Study after study have proven that barefeet, if washed regularly, are cleaner than shoes and socks which either never get washed, or just soak in sweat and dirt. ENTIRE cultures take off their shoes for this very reason.

  4. I pulled a magazine out of the seat back pocket and began to thumb through it. I felt something in the magazine and tilted it up, thinking a crumpled subscription card would fall out. I was lucky enough, the magazine started to open, and before anything spilled out, I found a giant wad of chew tobacco that someone was nice enough to smear between the pages… It’s amazing the behavior of people on flights. For some reason, people behave in ways they never would in any other public setting. The entitlement, the lack of manners… It continues to amaze me.

  5. Man, the foot phobias some people have are really pretty amazing. Someone’s feet are probably the least disgusting things on most of these surfaces. As long as they don’t smell, I don’t care. Not a big deal.

  6. Can’t believe the wacky POV’s on this. Joelfreak is probably also one of those people who insists that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.

    Sorry, just loosen your damn shoes, I don’t care how long the flight is. Unless you’re in F or J wearing the amenity socks, any sock exposure is uncool. Bare feet is just gross, and pitiable for total lack of self-awareness.

  7. Now the mere sight of socks is offensive?

    I always see people with socked feet up on the bulkhead. Not a problem for me or most people I know

  8. Oh please. The lavatory floors (and surfaces) are far more disgusting and a more likely source of germs. I would love to see an hourly cleaning schedule as you do on the doors of fast food restaurants, but I’d imagine that’s not currently required by the FA union contracts (at least not for USA-based airlines).

    I am also informed that the tray tables are pretty gross, but I do not expect additional cleaning if they plan to do 30 minute turns. Maybe the FAs can issue wipes and anti-bact gel when they go through the cabin. Or just have a dispenser up front as you find now at grocery stores.

  9. I always bring a clean pair of slipper socks to put on during long flights so I can comfortably put my feet where they are most least likely to swell. That is usually as high as I can get them. I always put my shoes back on to go to the lav because those are always disgusting. Yes I sometimes put my newly washed slipper socks on my seat. The used slippers go in a plastic bag fir washing at home after the flight. I would get in a fight with someone if they bugged me about this especially since I go to the trouble of making sure the socks I wore on the plane are covered and there are no bare feet.

  10. On a UA flight back form Honolulu last year, the lady in the seat next to me in E+ pulled down the tray table, took off her shoes and socks, pulled her knees and feet up, lowered the tray table and then proceeded to put her bare feet on the tray table and curl up in the fetal position for a nap! Sure made me never want to use a tray table on a plane again!

  11. I love to travel and I have gotten used to flying, but the one thing that I hate is when people get overly comfortable on the planes. It’s nice on some long flights in first class when they give you socks, since no one really wants to have their shoes on for 8 hrs. Planes are gross and you should always have something on your feet because of the amount of germs. The 20 minute clean between flights is not enough for people to go barefoot.

  12. I don’t know about you, but I wash my feet twice a day. There is nothing different about being barefoot for a person who keeps themselves clean as with a person who doesn’t wear gloves, or wears a tank top. Maybe you can’t keep your body clean, but stop putting your problems on the rest of us. If you know you have a part of your body that would offend others with smell or some other issue, keep it covered, but just because some people have a hangup about feet doesn’t mean the rest of us have to hide them from you.

  13. Given the huge trend towards flip-flops among younger generations, it seems the anti-foot sentiment is losing. I guess you could dig your heels in, but it’s not going to work out.

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