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?