Etiquette tip: Keep your feet to yourself!!

socksLast night I flew home from the east coast. I was lucky and got upgraded for the longer leg. After enjoying dinner and doing a little work I decided to recline my seat and close my eyes. I snuggled into my blanket and had just drifted off when I felt something on the back of my arm.

At first I was in that half awake-half asleep mode and couldn’t figure out what had happened. Then I felt it again and jolted up. Looking all around, I tried to figure out what the heck was touching me. Then I realized–it was the toes of the person behind me! Now maybe I’m just lucky, but in ten years of frequent business travel this has never, ever happened to me.

There are a lot of parts of the plane that are communal property, including the armrest. But armrests are just for the arms of people sitting next to them!! They are not a footrest for the people behind them. Please don’t put your feet on the armrest!!

We landed soon after my experience, so I didn’t say anything to the person behind me. But if I had been flying much longer I probably would have. I don’t care how cute your socks are, I don’t want them touching me!

Readers, do you put your feet on the armrest? What would you say to someone who did?


Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

Shop icon

Have a travel question or suggestion? Send it to RW

Follow Road Warriorette on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest!

This post may include affiliate links. Thanks for your support!



  1. Flew the last row of Alaska first class SEA-LIH and LIH-SEA last summer. There’s only a small, seat top curtain between the last row of first and the first row of economy. BOTH times, the woman (different woman each time) seated in the center seat put her totally BARE FOOT up on the arm rest between us. WHO DOES THAT???
    On the way there, it was toward the end of the flight and we were happy to be going to Hawaii so we didn’t say anything. On the return flight, when I pointed out we had another bare foot on the arm rest, my boyfriend lightly smacked her foot with the paperback he was reading. She took her foot down.
    I won’t sit in the last row of first any more.

  2. I had a woman touch me multiple times with her feet, while my arm was on the arm rest. I turned around and asked her to move her feet after a third kick in the arm, and she said “I said I was sorry,” so I replied, “I accept your apology but I do not accept your feet in my space. Keep them on the ground.” She looked shocked, as though she was the victim in the situation, but she kept her feet off of the armrest. I just find it rude and inconsiderate. You’re already in close quarters, have respect for people and don’t force your way into their personal space.

  3. This happened to me recently. The socked foot was on my armrest, against the back of my arm. I pushed it back, and it reappeared. Ewww. I smacked it a bit on the bottom of the foot, and it disappeared and didn’t return. Whew. Later on, I glanced behind me to see who did it, and realized the culprit was about 10 years old.

  4. 1. This has happened to me regularly. Passengers in the window seat behind mine would extend their legroom by putting their feet up against the bulkhead and use my seat back as a retainer to prevent their legs from slipping.

    2. I try to sit in the last row of the cabin, for this and for other reasons, like people yanking on my seat back in order to get out of theirs.

    3. I would accidentally spill hot coffee or cold water on the errant foot. Or accidentally stick my knitting needle into it.

    4. If the foot is on the armrest, I just put the armrest up, and then down again, until the owner of the foot gets the message.

  5. I have been known to “accidentally” crush an errant foot on transport. Or worse (in Turkey): a HAND trying to cop a feel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.