Back in July of last year, Jessie Char was psyched to find she had an entire row to herself on a Jetblue flight home. Her joy was short lived though when the passenger behind her stuck her two bare feet on the empty armrests. The move made for an endless ride for Char who documented the ordeal on Twitter.
More than 17,000 people weighed in on a Today Show poll regarding the in-flight etiquette of bare feet on a plane. Eighty-three percent of the voters agreed that taking off shoes and socks on a plane was a major don’t. Only three percent felt it was okay since the seat was paid for. Fourteen percent of the voters thought it was okay as long as there wasn’t anyone around or you were sitting with family or friends.
Well, with that being said. Most of us would definitely keep our tootsies covered on a commercial flight because it’s what you do. So, for the record shoes and socks are a definite do on an airplane. Wait until you get to the hotel or home before letting the toes breathe.
The most feasible alternative if you just have to remove your shoes and socks is to reserve your flight on a private jet . Private jet charters may appear as an unnecessary expense or a trip to ‘Opulence town’, but overall, the liberty a passenger is entitled to when they reserve a flight for themselves or others is worth it. Part of the confusion comes from travelers not distinguishing between traditional flights and charters.
An air charter is the reserving or leasing of an aircraft, whereas a flight consists of travelers purchasing a solitary seat to travel at the discretion of the air carrier. Dependent upon the time of year you elect to book travel, you may end paying a considerable amount for a ticket to visit Grandma or you and several family members could splurge for the use of a private jet charter and each come out of pocket for the same amount and yet be able to unleash your feet at your discretion.
However, with air travel up and seat room down and if you simply must go commercial what else can you do to make the ride a little more comfy for yourself and your fellow travelers?
Board When Called
It’s just like we tell kids. Wait your turn. Get in line to board and disembark when your section is called.
Be Mindful of Personal Space
Yes, seat space is at a premium, but everyone is in the same boat. So, remember not to encroach on your seatmate’s personal space unless you are related to them and they don’t mind you reading over his or her shoulder.
Earphones or headphones are a must whether you are binge watching, listening to music or a book on tape. Again it’s the polite thing to do along with keeping the volume low. Headphones with loud volume are just as annoying.
Gage the Situation Before Striking Up a Conversation
Some people are chatters while others want to retreat into their own world on a flight. So, before you go chatting up your seatmate to pass the time, take a few minutes to test the waters. If he or she has headphones in or is reading, then skip the conversation starters.
Don’t Fight for the Armrest
You’re not sitting in the movie theater next to a sibling wherein the two of you can go ten rounds over the armrest. An unwritten rule on the airplane is that the passenger in the middle seat gets the armrest. Sitting in the middle is restrictive enough. Let the person have the armrest and enjoy the view from the window seat or the aisle.
Leave the Tuna Fish Sandwich at Home
If you’re packing snacks for the flight, stick to those that aren’t particularly smelly. Odors can make fellow passengers sick, especially if they are already feeling ill from the flight. Many folks also have life-threatening allergies to nuts. So, those are probably best left inside the bag until you land.
Sit in the Correct Seat
Just like school, everyone has assigned seats. Be sure to sit in them and remember to mind those around you. Give the person behind you fair warning when you recline and try not to use the seat in front of you to get up or sit back down.
When you use the bathroom, clean up after yourself and remember to flush. It’s not the flight attendant’s job to tidy up the bathroom after each user. It’s yours.
Whether you travel often for business or are heading on your first flight, when you elect commercial over private air travel, being a courteous flyer makes the experience more pleasant for you and everyone else. Plus, you don’t want your feet trending on Twitter, especially if you haven’t had a pedicure in a while.