Travellers question safety of viral airplane hack

People are always looking for ways to make plane rides more comfortable, especially on longer trips.

One woman, named Lexi, recently took to TikTok to share a hack that she learned on the platform, but some fellow travellers are questioning if it’s safe to use or not.

The hack shows the woman sitting in her plane seat with her shoes off and feet up on the seat, with the seatbelt wrapped around her ankles. “To whoever it was that said to put the plane belt around your ankles…I owe you my life!!!!” text across the screen read, indicating that she loved the hack.

After the video was posted, it went on to receive over 20 million views, with many people leaving comments about exactly how safe the hack was.

“My knees would be like grenades when I unbuckled it,” scoffed one commenter, while another wrote: “No way that’s safe.”

One commenter even claimed that the hack was “a medical emergency waiting to happen”.

Even a flight attendant chimed in, writing in the comments section, “As a flight attendant… please don’t.”

Some commenters questioned if that position was comfortable at all, with one writing: “There’s no way that’s more comfortable long term than just sitting,” and Lexi ended up replying: “I’m someone who has to sleep with my legs up and I usually tuck my feet behind the seat. I can’t sleep in a sitting position, it’s too uncomfy! This was also a three-hour flight tho…”

Recently, another TikToker shared a travel hack where she jokingly shared how she prevents people from sitting next to her on an airplane.

The hack originated from the travel TikTok account for The Upgrade (@theupgrade_), a news website that produces travel content. The website describes itself as “a world-leading indie travel news source, providing the most up-to-date and relevant news for travellers across the globe, since 2017”.

In a now-removed video, that received 6.7 million views, a woman showed how she ultimately finessed a flight without anyone sitting beside her. Set to the popular sound of Kim Kardashian saying: “Because it’s iconic and I love to do iconic s***!” the woman could be seen in the clip grinning and holding a hand to her face as the overlaid text said: “When I buy three refundable seats and cancel two at the last minute.”

Kashlee Kucheran – founder of The Upgrade – explained to the Daily Dot that they removed the video because it was “satire and joke” that was misconstrued.

“The video was born when our social media manager, Ivanna, just by chance had an entire row to herself and made it into a fun parody for TikTok,” she told the outlet. The social media manager defended her video, saying: “Everyone dreams about having a row all to themselves, and I was lucky enough to realise that dream on my last flight. The video was a cheeky spin on my experience that day.”

Kucheran added: “We have removed the video in good faith to ensure people don’t take a social media parody seriously.”

The video proved divisive before the outlet took the video down, with one person writing at the time: “That’s not iconic. There are people who need seats to see loved ones and your selfishness prevent [sic] them from doing that.”