Here's Why Flight Attendants Always Take Note Of The Shoes You Wear On A Flight

When you enter a plane, you're almost always greeted by the flight attendant. It's a courtesy to the passengers who will be with them for hours at a time and a friendly and professional gesture. However, that's not all they're doing, as they smile and welcome you or say hello while you're finding your seat. That time is also an opportunity for flight attendants to get a sense of who is on their plane. There are specific things that they're looking for, and one of the things they notice is what shoes you're wearing. Usually, when we think of shoes on a plane, it's because that annoying person in the seat next to you decided to take theirs off. Flight attendants have to know what you're wearing because certain shoes can be a detriment and a danger in the event of an emergency. 


Imagine the worst happening, and you have to make an emergency landing or something unusual — like a door flying off the airplane mid-air — requires you to move quickly. The kind of shoe you're wearing makes a difference in how fast you can get somewhere, whether you can safely go down an emergency slide and more. Here's more info on why flight attendants always notice your shoes and the other things they're looking at when they greet you. 

Wearing the right shoes on a plane and why it's important

Speaking to Reader's Digest, Amy Caris, flight attendant and director of in-flight for JSX, said, "I always look at what kind of shoes a customer is wearing to determine whether they can run quickly and easily in them ... If I see someone wearing high heels during boarding, I can make a note to add in an emergency command about removing them if the need arises." The high heel is an obvious choice for the worst flight shoe. They might look great, but if you're bringing them on a trip, pack them in your suitcase. They can puncture inflatable slides and get tangled in almost anything. If you are rushing to catch the plane, running in heels is a notoriously difficulty skill to master. Skip the flip-flops as well, as they can easily fall off if you have to move quickly.


There is another reason your shoes might get noticed. American Airlines flight attendant Avalon Irizarry told the publication, "Flight attendants have this thing about covering your feet somewhat. They also look out for passengers walking around the cabin or going into the lavatory without shoes, because we know how dirty the floor is!" No one should have to tell you that the floors of planes (especially the lavatory) are gross, but if you needed a reminder, this is it, and maybe think twice about taking your shoes off on your next flight.

Other things flight attendants notice when you get on the plane

In addition to noticing what shoes you're wearing, there are many other things flight attendants notice when you get onto the plane. One thing is your attitude. Are you smiling? Do you seem friendly? Do you look angry? Could you have been drinking? The Federal Aviation Administration said there were 2,075 reports of unruly passengers in 2023, and it makes sense that flight attendants would want to spot any potential issues early. They're also likely to notice what sort of carry-on you're using. People do tend to try to bring on more than they should, as checking a bag gets more expensive, and sometimes those bags aren't going to fit in the overhead bin. Flight attendants have to keep an eye out for bags they may have to gate check. 


Emergencies are rare, but they do happen. Another thing flight attendants are looking for is people who could help out in case something goes wrong. If you look fit and strong, you may be asked for help if there is an issue. If you let the plane's staff know you have medical training and could be helpful if there is a medical emergency aboard, they're going to make a note of your seat number, just in case. On the other hand, here are some things flight attendants wish you would stop doing. Wear the right shoes, be a good passenger, and fly safe.