Woman Who Repeatedly Put Her Bare Feet On Another Passenger's Armrest During A Flight Is Given A Valuable Lesson

She won't do that again!

Last updated on May 14, 2024

rude airplane passenger feet Milkovasa / Shutterstock

Flying is uncomfortable at the best of times. There are few who enjoy the actual experience of being on an airplane, especially those with a fear of flying or people who are used to certain levels of comfort.

But nothing can prepare people for the unruly behavior of fellow passengers. One woman shared a particularly horrifying experience involving another stranger invading her person space in a pretty gross way.


A woman had her bare feet on a passenger's armrest — so she decided to take matters into her own hands.

A woman named Ixamar Palumbo shared a video captioned, "Tell me your weirdest flight story," where she went on to explain her own experience.

The video opened with Palumbo sitting in her seat with a black face mask on, eyes wide. The caption read, "This lady's feet were on my armrest, occasionally poking me, so I gave her a little ice present." She then recounted how she exacted revenge on the woman for invading her personal space and violating the most basic flight etiquette rules.

@ixamarpalumbo Tell me YOUR weirdest flight story 🥲 #feet #americanairlines ♬ Elevator Music - Bohoman

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The video showed a pair of toes, painted red, jammed between the seats from behind, and resting comfortably on Palumbo's armrest. Palumbo then took a piece of ice from her cup, as the overlay read, "It was tiny but mighty."

She placed the ice cube just in front of the woman's feet on the armrest. And, finally, the woman's feet were gone. 

While there was no word on how the woman reacted to the sudden presence of ice water between her toes, it's clear that her idea had worked amazingly well.

Many comments questioned why Palumbo didn't turn around and ask the woman to move her feet, but others were quick to defend and support her from any backlash. 


One person even shared an alternate solution, saying, "I saw someone pretend to sneeze and flick water on someone's armrest foot once. The foot person was horrified."

However, the overall response focused on the lack of consideration some people show on flights these days. As one person mused, "Sometimes it still blows my mind how inconsiderate people are. Like, you're on an airplane and adults forget how to be adults."

And that comment raises an important point about how passengers should and should not act on an airplane, especially when it's not only an invasion of personal space, but a gross and unsanitary action as well.


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There are very basic hygienic rules all passengers should follow while flying.

There was good reason for Palumbo to take offense. People putting their feet, face, or really any other part of their body near you while cramped in such a tiny space will no doubt be met with disgust.

In a 2018 study from Expedia, 90% of passengers found being barefoot on a flight to be bad etiquette, let alone putting your bare feet near other people. The study also found that 75% of respondents always keep their shoes and socks on (which may come as a bit of a shock that 25% of people find it okay to remove their footwear).

@hillnpoo Replying to @nayyyyyyy_nayyyyyyy please comment if you have had people barefoot on your flight #airplanetiktok #airlineetiquette #airplaneetiquette #hillnpootravel2 #travelrules #traveltiktok ♬ original sound - HillnPoo Travel ✈️🌍

But it's not just airline passengers who think people should be more hygienic when flying — actual etiquette experts agree!


According to Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and owner of the professional etiquette training company The Protocol School of Texas, "It's not OK to kick off your shoes and take a little nap,. The nap is fine, but shoes should stay on. And you don't want to walk up and down the cabin, to the restroom and back, barefooted or in socks."

And seeing as how the carpets on airplanes are usually a hot bed for germs — whether from passengers shoes, leaking garbage, or humidity in the cabin — it's best to keep your shoes on at all times. Plus, you'll prevent any foot odor from filling the very tight quarters, or from violating person space.

Gottsman also recalled her own experience with someone putting their feet on her armrest, calling them "the most annoying passenger experience I have ever had."


While there will no doubt be rude passengers on flights, we can all agree that being on an airplane for hours is uncomfortable. So, from one passenger to the next, let's all just keep our shoes on and our feet on the floor.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.