A video has gone viral of a man sleeping on the floor in economy class on a 15-hour flight. Are you even allowed to sleep on the floor on an overnight flight?
Sleeping On Floor In Economy Class – Valid?
A TikTok video that has now amassed over 11 million views and 600K likes shows an older gentleman settling down the floor in the center section of a widebody aircraft. He appears to be sleeping peacefully.
I can’t tell the airline or the airport…looking at the reflection of the sign it could be Madrid and perhaps is an Air Europa jet. Per the video poster, the flight was “15 hours” so maybe an Air Europa flight to Buenos Aires, which is just under 13 hours? In any case, the airline or even the length of the flight does not really matter. Instead, the question is whether you can sleep on the floor of the economy class cabin.
The general rule is no, whether the seat belt sign is on or not. That is because doing so can create a hazard to you or to others around you. Some airlines explicitly state that sleeping on the floor is not permitted (I clearly recall the announcement on my last SAS longhaul flight). Others may not state it, but I’ve never seen someone actually get away with sleeping on the floor on an overnight flight.
One time I was on a United Airlines flight and a passenger decided to sleep the floor. He was promptly roused by a flight attendant and instructed to remain in his seat. Even when a flight is lightly filled and you may have the whole row to yourself, sleeping on the floor is not permitted.
Of course, assuming the floor is clean (a dangerous assumption), the floor likely is more comfortable than sleeping across several seats with uneven cushions and armrests that may not fully fold up. But floors don’t have seatbelts…
Sleeping on the floor is certainly one approach to securing a “lie-flat” arrangement on a longhaul flight without paying for business or first class. But I don’t think any carriers actually allow it. While you might occasionally find a flight attendant who looks away, the safety concerns of laying on the floor make it something that is best avoided.
image: @bynataliebright / TikTok