Is putting your feet on the chair in front of you on flights normal - or gross?

A passenger recorded the legs of a passenger behind her, who stuck his legs under her seat until they popped out in front of her. She shared the photo on social media, sparking debate.

 A Delta plane sits at the International Terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in March 2020. (photo credit: CURTIS COMPTON/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION/TNS)
A Delta plane sits at the International Terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in March 2020.
(photo credit: CURTIS COMPTON/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION/TNS)

It seems that there is no matter that is considered more controversial in the world of aviation than the matter of passengers taking off their shoes in flight. And the socks too.

It's the kind of phenomenon that divides social networks between those who are in favor of the action and those who are really against it. In a recent incident, a passenger on a flight stretched his legs so far under the seat in front of him that his shoes appeared right in front of the eyes of the passenger sitting in the seat. 

 Passengers board an airplane. (credit: FLICKR) Passengers board an airplane. (credit: FLICKR)

The New York Post reported that the irritated passenger even decided to take action and post a photo of the incident on the social network Reddit - which immediately became a viral photo.

The 2,000-comment viral post 

"I'm not even an unusually tall guy, but the distance from the end of my knee to my back is not short enough to fit between the back of my seat and the backrest of the seat in front of me."

Reddit commenter

In a post written by the passenger, she described the act as "annoying," and noted that the passenger continued to do this over and over again, even after she hinted to him that his legs were digging into her personal space.

"It was frustrating, especially since it happened every 15 minutes during the flight. In fact, I started lightly tapping his legs with my feet," she wrote.

The post drew more than 2,000 comments, many of which were written by people who presented themselves as tall. These defended the act of that passenger. "I'm a tall person and there's a chance I did something like this with my legs," one user wrote.

"Remember, don't hate the player - hate the game. My height is about one meter eighty, and you have to make an effort not to intrude on the spaces of other passengers, because of the crowded seating arrangements of the airlines," added another commenter. A third commenter stated: "The planes are getting worse and worse for me."

"I'm not even an unusually tall guy, but the distance from the end of my knee to my back is not short enough to fit between the back of my seat and the backrest of the seat in front of me," wrote another commenter to the same passenger's post.

"There's just not enough room. My knees are starting to cramp and I feel like someone is stabbing my knees with a knife. I have to stretch them. I'm sure I'm very annoying on airplanes."

Kick or step on them?

The controversial act of the passenger continued to lead to a debate among travelers. On the one hand - many sided with the passenger who photographed the legs.

"I would find an excuse to get up from my seat and look around every once in a while, over and over, while making sure I was stepping on his feet and making eye contact with him," one Reddit user wrote.

"Kick or step on them until they move? Don't be a doormat, and stand your ground every now and then," suggested another commenter. Others simply suggested that in such cases they would turn to that passenger and ask him to stretch his legs in another direction.

Why is this debate coming out now?

The heated discussion comes after another "storm" that arose recently after another passenger suffered a similar incident, this time when the person behind her stretched his bare feet under her seat.

A photo shows the stranger's feet between the woman's legs. In May, another passenger filmed and posted passengers placing their bare feet on the armrests of other passengers. "Your worst nightmare," one person captioned the photo, and many agreed with them.

"Little Mix" star Jade Thirlwell, also had a similar experience at the beginning of the month while flying. She was so shocked by what she saw that she decided to record the sight and uploaded the video to her TikTok account, sharing it with her 1.9 million followers.

@jadethirlwall

Breath taking views at 38,000 ✨feet✨

♬ Only Time - Enya

She titled her video "Breathtaking Views at 38,000 Feet." In the video, she took a picture of herself looking stunned, then tilted the phone forward to show a woman sitting a few rows in front, stretching her leg high up until she touched the overhead storage compartments.

This article was translated by Jerusalem Post Staff/Haley Cohen.