When there is enough space to do that.

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I have traveled with EasyJet and I was lucky enough to have three seats to myself!

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I didn't have the courage to try lying down and see if I would get told off by the aircrew because simply I haven't paid for the empty seats.

However the ticket costs £22 and I have no problem at all paying £66 in exchange for one of my childhood wishes ie to have a bed on the airplane.

I simply can't see what's wrong with that?

  • The piece where you arm rests can be folded
  • Seat belts are not required during the flight
  • I'll make sure no to have smelly socks if I was in the position in the first photo

This question is entirely different than my other question Are there any laws that prevent reserving two adjacent seats for one person for a flight with Ryanair?

I am merely asking if the aircrew and other passengers would have a problem with it? and if yes then why?

  • 66
    People do it all the time. I've never heard anyone complain about anyone doing it.
    – phoog
    Dec 16, 2015 at 14:41
  • 6
    @phoog I'll back that up. if you'd like to make it an answer I'd vote it up. Only caveat is that if the seatbelt sign comes on they will have to wake you. Dec 16, 2015 at 14:53
  • 11
    Just to confirm what everyone else says, this is commonplace. People do it whenever possible, and, often move around to try to make it more possible. if you ARE doing this, the staff are "allowed to" (if you see what I mean) tell you to stop doing it and sit up straight - for example, if there is a storm, if for some obscure reason you are causing a problem, etc. So you don't have a "right" to do it, but you sure can. It's rather like walking around in the plane to stretch your legs, say. it's perfectly OK to do so: for some reason occasionally you may be asked to stop doing it.
    – Fattie
    Dec 16, 2015 at 17:41
  • 5
    I also confirm what everybody else says. However, note that it is entirely within an airline's rights to have whatever policies they want regarding the issue. So if the flight crew tells you you cannot, you still must either obey or take your business elsewhere. In other words, while the vast majority of airlines allow it, as far as I am aware there is certainly no legal obligation for them to do so.
    – Jason C
    Dec 16, 2015 at 22:38
  • 4
    I like the red pain points on your drawings. Very accurate.
    – user28559
    Dec 16, 2015 at 23:36

6 Answers 6


This is not prohibited. Technically, you should do it while wearing your seat belt, but I've never seen this enforced except during takeoff and landing, or during turbulence.

Last year I was on a Delta flight from Atlanta to London during a severe winter storm, in which almost all passengers missed their flight (due to cancelled inbound flights, or road conditions in Atlanta). Because of the high number of cancellations, nearly every passenger (there were fewer than 50 of us) aboard the 767 had a row to themselves, and the flight crew encouraged us all to lay down and sleep.

  • 33
    not only is it not prohibited, gate agents try to make it possible for you. I've had them give me a row to myself "so you can lie down and sleep" or a row of 4 to share with a child "so your child can lie down and sleep". They are well aware we want to do this. Dec 16, 2015 at 15:18
  • 5
    @Joulupukki the incidents I describe all involved my booking a single seat on a sparsely-occupied flight. Dec 16, 2015 at 16:24
  • 3
    I have been lucky three times, each on very long flights and each time I was asked to keep a seat belt on (and shoes off). The seat belt was easy enough, sit in the middle seat, allow your seat belt all the space it has and snap it closed, lay down and tighten the belt till it is comfy but not too snug.
    – Willeke
    Dec 16, 2015 at 16:24
  • 6
    This is correct. I am a private pilot. I would strongly suggest always strapping in if you plan on sleeping unless you want to be awoken by being thrown on the floor. Dec 16, 2015 at 17:15
  • 1
    "Technically, you should do it while wearing your seat belt" - how? Dec 16, 2015 at 19:32

As a cabin crew member, we actually have no instructions against it as long as the seatbelt signs are turned off.

The passengers seating policy is clear, seated while take off and landing, seat in upright position and seatbelt is fastened. During flights, the recommendations are to keep the seatbelt fastened to be prepared in case of sudden turbulence.

Actually, the armrests are made movable for that reason, in addition to other reasons (easier cleaning is one of them).

We encourage people in mid/long-haul flights to do so because it makes them feel comfortable (leaving good impression). Also, sleeping passengers will not bother to press the call buttons! We even go one step further and ask awake passengers nicely to close the window shades in case it was a day flight.

Is it dangerous? Yes it is, but not really. Strap yourself before sleeping and you'll be fine in case of turbulence. This is out of personal experience, people who are in direct danger in case of sudden turbulence are those who are standing, then those who are seated without fastening seatbelts. Others are in danger, but not as much as the aforementioned ones.


As other answers have said, for this specific case just go ahead. Everyone does when they can!

In general, with this sort of thing, it is always easiest to ask forgiveness than permission. I tend to ask myself "what is the worst that could happen?". If the answer to that is "they might ask me to stop", then the worst possible outcome puts me back in the starting position - and there really is no reason not to try.

As an aside, you may struggle to do this on an EasyJet flight. On most of their planes, apart from the front and rear 2 or 3 rows (to facilitate access for the mobility impaired), the armrests are not movable.

  • 3
    I was sitting in the third row from the back, armrests were foldable and for some reason the airplane had at least six empty rows at the rear of it, I have missed a very good chance to sleep.
    – Ulkoma
    Dec 17, 2015 at 9:50
  • 2
    Based on the nickname, Joulupukki is finnish - we finns generally tend to steer clear of embarrassing situations. We consider "being told not to" to be quite shameful.
    – diynevala
    Dec 18, 2015 at 12:48
  • 2
    easiest to ask forgiveness than permission Are you a Python programmer perchance?
    – dotancohen
    Dec 20, 2015 at 14:44

I regularly do it. In fact I'm usually alert when booking my seat to try and pick the one most likely to have spare seats around it, for this very purpose!

Then once aboard, if people sit next to me, I'm eagerly watching the other rows and will totally jump there if possible, provided another passenger doesn't beat me to it. And yes, I get beaten to it on a regular basis - so it's a common thing.

I've had air crew tell me as long as I'm buckled in, so I have a seatbelt around me even when lying down, but otherwise never had a problem.


On one flight from New York to Amsterdam using Delta airlines I even went to a completely different row altogether to lie down and sleep using 3 or 4 seats there. More people did it since the flight was quite empty and the crew didn't mind at all.


It's not even on the seats that people lay down, but even on the floor besides the entrance close to the toilet on the midnight flights. Possibly everywhere with not much disturbance to the passengers... But you have to be careful while walking. But I have never tried to lay down on the seats probably because I flew in the summertime...

  • 3
    Hmm... I would say this is more airline/region-specific. I've never seen this personally and I highly doubt that most airlines would allow this here in North America. I'd be a bit surprised if it's even legal in FAA or EASA jurisdiction. Your mileage may vary in other parts of the world, though.
    – reirab
    Dec 17, 2015 at 17:26
  • Laying on the floor is often not allowed, for a couple of reasons including: The ground gets too cold (remember it can easily be -60 Celsius outside when at 10km height), you can easily break something during turbulence (the floor is awfully stiff) and there are no seatbelts to strap yourself in.
    – Mast
    Dec 18, 2015 at 11:55
  • 2
    can you imagine the floor you are putting your feet to be -60 celcius ?..i mean inside the flight where you walk which is a "floor" .I came last september from Oman to Munich in Oman airways in a midnight flight..and i went near toilet to see people sleeping in floor as it is 2 -4 -2 row seats and while the 4 seat row have more space infront ..people would sleep there with all the blankets same as you see them inside the airport besides the seat.
    – Unni
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:10
  • The floor is thermally isolated from the exterior of the aircraft. Moreso than the cabin walls, actually, since there is another deck beneath the floor (for cargo, fuel tanks, etc.) The floor will definitely not be -60 C. It will be about the same as the rest of the cabin. The reasons most airlines won't let people sleep in the floor are primarily safety-related. They would go flying through the cabin in the case of turbulence and they're a tripping hazard for people walking through the cabin. They could also be hit by the lav doors or a cart or be blocking a walkway.
    – reirab
    Dec 19, 2015 at 21:20

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