To call it a “hack” may be a bit of a stretch, but that’s what a short clip on TikTok has been labelled by some online and in the media.
Since it was posted last month, Natalie Bright’s simple 10-second video of her father sleeping on the floor of a plane has been viewed more than 12 million times.
The US influencer captioned the video: “You have your airport dad. I have my Asian dad. More room for everybody”, showing her father first in the airport and then onboard an unidentified plane lying down on the ground asleep.
The video saw people fall into two very different camps.
Some called it “genius” and “actually brilliant” but the majority were appalled.
“As a past flight attendant, you don’t want to know what I have seen on those carpets,” was one response.
One also made mention of the infamous recent flight diversion due to “diarrhoea all through the airplane”.
Many commentators questioned if lying on the ground is even legal. It’s not permitted on many airlines, including Air New Zealand, which told Stuff Travel that passengers are not allowed to lie on the floor anywhere on an aircraft.
While it did not go into details, a passenger’s safety would presumably be at risk from turbulence, as well as any onboard emergencies, or as a tripping hazard.
One other aspect of the video raised eyebrows too: “Barefoot on the seats is crazy.”
Barefoot flyers frequently upset the internet when they’re intruding into their seatmates’ territory or blocking the aisle. Or they’re doing something like clipping their toenails or filing their heels. Recently, sporting royalty Richie and Gemma McCaw found themselves up close and personal to an invading foot.
A TikTok video last year of a passenger using a bare foot to close a window shade sparked more than 25,000 comments, with many expressing amusement, bemusement or blatant disgust.
A Stuff Travel poll with more than 10,000 respondents found that close to half didn’t mind taking shoes off on a plane, once socks were kept on. Just under 40% say shoes off was disgusting, with only a slim 10% saying they were happy with bare feet.