The Real Reason Why You Should Never Take Off Your Shoes On A Plane

By Dave Basner

August 23, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

We've all seen the viral videos of plane passengers doing gross things, and high atop that list are the fliers who think it is acceptable to take off their shoes and make themselves at home while in the friendly skies. It turns out that not only is the practice something that will both disgust and frustrate fellow passengers, according to one former flight attendant, it is also a danger to anyone doing it.

Tony Kuna explained on Quora, "Besides stinking up the whole cabin, footwear is essential during a plane emergency, even though it is not part of the flight safety information. During an emergency, all sorts of debris and unpleasant ground surfaces will block your way towards the exit, as well as outside the aircraft. If your feet [aren’t] properly covered, you'll have a hard time making your way to safety. Imagine destroying your bare feet as your run down the aisle covered with broken glass, fires and metal shards. Kind of like 'John McClane' in Die Hard, but worse."

He's not the only person to give the warning. According to The Sun, Christine Negroni, author of books about plane crashes like The Crash Detectives, has suggested airlines make footwear mandatory for take-off and landing. She also advises fliers against ever wearing sandals or flip-flops on a plane.

There are other reasons to keep your feet covered too. On a Reddit post featuring tips from flight attendants, one wrote, "DO NOT WALK AROUND BAREFOOT. Pee and poop happens all over. I feel like I witness an 'accident' regularly; in their seat or in the lav. People get nose bleeds, or their wounds open. Obviously when we land, it is thoroughly cleaned. But inflight our resources are limited." Another noted, "I cringe every time I see a passenger walk in a lavatory with bare feet or socks. The planes are generally turned around in less that 20 minutes before they are boarded again and rarely receive more than a quick scrub on the bathroom floor."

So if you are flying soon, for your sake and the sake of those around you, make sure you leave your shoes on.

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