Flight attendants have seen everything while flying—seriously, these are the secrets they aren’t telling you. So when something grosses them out (e.g. passengers walking around the plane without their shoes on) take it from them—you really shouldn’t do it.
Airplane bathrooms might seem like they’re clean, but they’re actually pretty unsanitary. In between flights, the bathrooms are only given a quick spray of disinfectant, a wipe down, and then restocked with toilet paper. The Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t regulate aircraft cleaning or do inspections, so the cleanliness of the plane is in the hands of the airline. Since the bathrooms are so small it’s easy for bacteria to spread. And we hate to break it to you, but that liquid you see on the floor most likely isn’t water, so you should really be wearing your shoes. You’ll also want to avoid touching flush handles, toilet seats, and the door latch without protecting your hand with a paper towel. Make sure you never do these 17 other things on a plane, either.
The bathroom isn’t the only reason you should keep your shoes on on a flight. When a passenger gets sick on a plane, the carpet is only spot cleaned. A cleaning crew will take care of those gross spots, but they won’t clean the whole area where germs could have spread.
We know it’s tempting to kick off your shoes and relax on a flight but it’s best to keep them on. You’ll be a lot cleaner and the people sitting around you will most likely thank you for it, too. Next, read up on these secrets airplane pilots won’t tell you.