Would You Walk Barefoot in an Airplane?

Frankly, the idea repulses me. Especially given the recent rodent sightings reported by airline passengers. Still, I have to admit I have seen (and winced at) literally dozens of passengers on my flights to and from Hawaii who feel compelled to stroll about the cabin sans shoos.

Perhaps, it’s because one of my best friends is a flight attendant for one of the nation’s largest airlines and she doesn’t hesitate to share the horror stories detailing what has been dragged on airplane floors. (I won’t even dare divulge the wretched items she has seen on the plane’s bathroom floors.) Regardless, I can’t imagine what people who strip down to their bare toes are thinking when they roam shoeless on an aircraft.

I’m all about making yourself comfortable–especially on a 9-hour flight from Chicago to Honolulu—–but, geez, people you’re not at home.

The airlines maintain that the carpet on aircrafts get deep cleaned about once a month, but according to my flight attendant pal (whose husband also works in the airline industry), this is not at all true with her company. Rather, she says that the carpet on the planes she has flown have gone tens of thousands of miles without a thorough cleaning. That means months worth of garbage, spilled food, vomit, soiled baby diapers, and other bodily fluids have coated the carpet and barefoot passengers are exposing themselves (needlessly) to all of it.

I grew up in Hawaii so believe me I have nothing against people who want to air their toes in public places (I don’t always appreciate the smell, but I understand the need is there for some people). However, I still can’t grasp why anyone would not want to place their shoes back on their feet prior to entering an airplane restroom.

Besides the gross factor the other reason I would never consider walking around an airplane in my bare feet is that I freeze in planes. It’s not unusual for me to bring an extra pair of socks to put on mid-flight because my toes are numb from the cold. The plane’s uncomfortably cold temperatures are another reason you will never catch me wearing sandals or other open-toed shoes in an aircraft.

What about you? Have you ever strolled around an airplane without shoes?

Related Articles:

The One Thing You DON’T Want To See On An Airplane

The Ugly Truth About Airplane Water

How to Handle Flying with Smelly Seatmates

Keeping Cozy on a Chilly Airplane

Airline Travel: “Seatmates of Size”

True or False–Airplanes Have “Safe Seats?”

5 Ways To Deal With A Talkative Seatmate

Traveling With Children-Learn From My Mistakes

In-Flight Toothbrushes?

Travel Tips For Flyers

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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