Home Airlines Why That Flight Attendant Said Don’t Wear Shorts on a Plane

Why That Flight Attendant Said Don’t Wear Shorts on a Plane

by SharonKurheg

Happy June, y’all!

June is a big month in the U.S. calendar. You’ve got D Day, Flag Day, Father’s Day, Juneteenth, and Summer Solstice. It’s also, of course, LGBTQ Pride Month (Happy Pride, y’all!).

For most of us, the month of June also means that summer is either already in full flourish (I live in Central Florida; it’s been summer here for a month and a half already), or will, pretty soon. Heavier clothes get put away for the season and you pull out lighter stuff – most likely lots of T-shirts, and shorts.

Back in June 2021, a flight attendant named Tommy Cimato made a short (45 seconds) TikTok video about “5 Things YOU Should NEVER Do On An Airplane” (emphasis his, not mine). Here’s the video:


#greenscreen #fyp #flightattendant #airline #aviation #travel #flights

♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling

To review what he said, the 5 things YOU should NEVER do on a plane are:

  1. When you’re in the lavatory, do not touch flush button/lever with your bare hands. Because germs.
  2. Don’t forget to drink water. OK, I can get behind this one; everyone tells you to not get dehydrated on a plane.
  3. Do not sleep/lean on the window. Because other people have done it too and then it’s their head gunk mixing with your head gunk and kids have wiped their hands and other things all over the window, and yadda yadda yadda. So…germs.
  4. Don’t feel afraid to let a Flight Attendant know if you’re feeling sick. They’re there to help and can give you food, water or an air sickness bag. If you’re having anaphylaxis, or if it’s your kid who’s sick, maybe not so much.
  5. Don’t wear shorts. “It’s the same thing as the window. You never know how clean it’s going to be.” So again, germs.

Now, I get it. Cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say. But there’s a certain level of random germs that we can all handle (unless you have a problem with your immune system; then I know you have to take extra precautions). Because…

1. The thought of the type of germs on that lavatory button can indeed temporarily gross a person out – we all know the types of things other people have just touched. But what’s the next thing you do? You WASH YOUR HANDS. And then boom, their germs (as well as those from whatever YOU just touched while you were using the lav) all go down the drain.

3. When I get a window seat, I’m well known for falling asleep. I probably lean on the window, to boot. However I always have a small bottle of Purell with me, and clean the window and surrounding wall when I first get to my seat – same as I do the tray table, armrests, IFE (if it’s touch sensitive) and any buttons I may press). And then, voila, decreased germ field that’d otherwise be too close to my face for comfort!

5. Now, the whole shorts thing. This one makes little sense. I mean sure, I want to keep your legs free of whatever nastiness. But:

  • Sitting on an airplane seat with shorts on is like sitting on any other cloth-covered transportation with clothes on. Buses. Trains. Rental cars (you think they washed those bucket seats between you and the renter before you?). Stuff you’ve probably been doing your whole life. So what are you going to do, wear pants all summer?
    And sure, the seats are probably filthy. That’s why public transportation seats look the way they do.
  • Even if you DO get someone’s nastiness on you…it’s on the back of your leg. You won’t notice it. Neither will anyone else. It’s not going to hurt you because unless someone else somehow left behind some skin-eating organism, skin is pretty tough. You’ll take a shower that night or the next morning, and it’s gone.
  • Unless you’re wearing short shorts and/or have tiny legs like I do (hello, 4’6″ tall!) the amount of bare skin that’ll touch the seat is negligible; maybe a couple of inches.

So there you go. Granted, there are a couple of countries where you’re not allowed to wear shorts because of “public taste/offensiveness,” and you may not be allowed to board the plane if you’re wearing shorts (I’m looking at you, Saudia). If you don’t want to wear shorts on a plane because the thought of it grosses you out, fine, don’t. But from a health perspective, really, there’s really no reason not to. Regardless of what a flight attendant on TikTok says. 😉

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