By Sid Lipsey
Attention rude airline passengers who treat airplanes as their own personal lounging areas: Social media is coming for you.
Passenger Shaming on Instagram and Facebook is the latest trend in internet shaming: It aims to shine the bright light of online justice on people whose rude, often gross, airplane behavior makes the flying experience even more miserable for the rest of us. The photos are submitted via email by anonymous flyers and flight attendants to PassengerShaming@gmail.com.
Judging from the pictures, there’s some weird version of a flying foot fetish going on. The majority of pics on the site show people in bare feet — which they then put in places where they don’t belong. Like on the backs of seats. (Ew.) Or right on tray tables (so nasty!). Or — yuck! — in the gap between the two seats in front of them.
There are other gross sights too: a man lounging with his shirt off. (This ain’t the beach, buddy.) Another guy asleep with his hand down his pants. (And it’s definitely not your living room couch!) Some passengers are caught clipping their toenails. And in one memorable picture, a used condom is found under a seat. (We don’t want to know the story behind that one.)
Passenger Shaming started in January of 2013 and has taken off. It has more than 25,000 Instagram followers and its Facebook page has 20,000 likes. It’s the brainchild of flight attendant Shawn Kathleen, who issues a warning on her site: “Don’t end up here.”
It’s a friendly reminder to rude flyers who often dismiss their own gross behavior with the “I’ll never see these people again” mentality. True, you may not see the passengers you’re offending again. But now they can make sure that the whole world sees you. So mind your manners. And for Pete’s sakes, keep your shoes on!