What can you do if your seatmates have really smelly feet?
Los Angeles Times
Q: The last two times I traveled internationally, my seat companions removed their shoes, and the stench from their feet was unbearable. Since the airplanes are filled, asking to change seats is impossible. What options do I have? The cabin attendants wrinkled their noses but said nothing. I have another trip planned and would like to avoid a repeat. What options do I have? Any suggestions?
If the smell offends, you could just ask them to put them back on but it might make it awkward for the remainder of the flight. I suggest wearing a light scarf and spraying it with a nice fresh perfume. You can just wrap that around you and hopefully cover the smell of feet or apply body lotion on your face
I definitely do for flights longer than a couple hours and may even take em off for the shorter flights. For the longer flights I wear some fun Marriott slippers from a hotel stay. Keeps my feet cozy and then I don't put on my shoes to use the rest room. My feet generally don't stink
I always remove my shoes on international flights because I don't want lavatory stuff to accompany on my trip or at home. Do others feel about airplane lavatories as I do? I find them beyond disgusting, especially when people do not put the seat down before flushing. Without doing so, all it does is filter all that was within throughout that compact space. I do the same at home (A Heloise hint) for the same reason.
But first of all, my feet don't smell because I bathe before the flight. I buy new disposable socks before flying and take two pairs for my (always) international flights. As soon as we're off the ground, I take off my shoes and put on the new socks, so that I can then get rid of them after lavatory use at the end of the flight. Flight home, repeat. I don't bother on short hops in the EU because I don't use the lav.
But next time you're in a lavatory on an international flight, just check out the floor and decide if you want THAT on the bottom of your shoes.
I always put the cover down before flushing ever since I read about how particles are thrown into the air and we breathe no telling what. At times, I even hold my breath till I get out. The floor is something else. Often puddles of liquid. Use your imagination as to what liquid.
I'm with you, Californian, and I am not a germophobic.. But when you think about how many people go into those lavatories (and 90% leave the seat up), it makes me want to wait till it is impossible. And the floors...disgusting beyond belief. That's why I wear throw-away socks. BTW, for anyone interested, my shoes don't smell. Since I'm a hermit at home, I wear a small variety of shoes when I go out for shopping, but they rarely stay on my feet for more than a few hours (except teaching -- and I NEVER wear THOSE shoes for airline flights).
I don't take my shoes off on an airplane for a number of reasons:
1) floors soiled by only God knows what (no different than taking shoes off on a bus or in a subway? wonder how often aircraft floors get properly cleaned/vacuumed...)
2) I don't sit in seats that allow me to put my feet up, and while I do exercise my feet and legs and so mostly don't experience swelling after long haul flights, I don't want to risk taking my shoes off, only to not be able to get them on again at the end of the flight
3) my feet get cold on long haul flights, especially if sitting near an emergency exit
4) all of my shoes are leather and during the warm half of the year, I don't wear socks and my feet can sweat in my shoes. I spray my shoes (mostly) after each use, but that may not always prevent a smell, and I don't want to risk it (and yep, I do shower every day )
5) right now I can't go without shoes even if I want to (not even to the loo in the middle of the night). I require orthotics, even have orthotic flip flops
6) I have never had the luxury of sleeping in a lie flat seat on a long haul flight. When that luxury finally presents itself, I will definitely take my shoes off (a la shoeman1000's perfect sense) and I sure hope they won't smell. Maybe I'll bring some baby powder for the feet and a plastic bag for the shoes.
I like ProfC's idea of throw away socks...
Don't get me started on aircraft loos... (yuck)
Shoes should remain on until after reaching cruising altitude for safety- anything happens that you need to get out quick you have no shoes! After that, shoes will naturally come off. Poor hygiene suck no matter what is no washes or groomed. Stinky body or stinky shoes, bad breath (had a friend who vomited when she smelled her neighbour's breath upon saying hello), or too much perfume.
Living with humans is delightful and tough!
Since I always flight flights that last from 7-14 hours, I do take my shoes or boots off after cruising altitude. But since I am a bathing fanatic, my feet smell lovely . However, to both avoid ankle swelling AND to protect myself from lavatory floors, I wear black knee-high elastic socks and on top of that a set of short socks which I remove before leaving the plane.
I have had toe replacement surgery (among other joints), and have serious arthritis in almost all my joints. Taking off my shoes (which can only be flat sandals or flat boots -- nothing with even a minimal heel or tight sides) is an absolute necessity for me since I only fly long flights. Since I am personally hygienic (as in: don't smell bad) and wear the two pairs of socks, I don't have to worry about what ends up on the bottom of my sandals or boots when I use the lav.