Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Airplanes are Making People Sick


Personal hygiene is something that most travelers try to maintain while trying to avoid areas that might not be clean. You will be surprised that the dirtiest areas on a plane are not those that you may be thinking of and could be the area next to your seat on the plane.

There was a recent survey that tried to establish some of the dirtiest areas in the airport and on board the planes. It looked at a total of five planes and airports. Surprisingly, far from what you could have expected, the bathroom is not the dirtiest are in the planes. It was found that the dirtiest place is the tray tables.It was found that the seat back tray tables were a whopping 195 percent likely to have disease-causing bacteria than your average smart phone. The funny thing is that your smart p0hone is 18 times dirtier than the handle to your toilet at home. This means that the back seat tray could be as dirty as the lavatory seat itself.


Just after the seat back trays came the lavatory flush buttons. Another necessary evil. They were closely followed by the seat belt buckles.  Out into the airports, it was found that those drinking fountains were the dirtiest places that you can visit around. They were closely followed by the locks to the bathroom stalls
woman with protective mask in a plane

Staying safe and healthy on your next travel

You may want to do a few things to ensure that you are at least safe from the disease causing organisms. Here are a few tips

  • Stay away from the drinking fountains at the airport. You should rather come with your own water and other soft drinks
  • Ensure that you wash your hands with running water after you have used the bathroom. This will get rid of the bacteria that you may have collected when you pushed the flush button or when you touched the door lock.
  • Carry hand sanitizers with you. Use the gel when on board to wipe down the seat belts, the seat back trays, arm rests and your own hands. You will be better off that you would had you not come with them.
  • Never place food directly on the seat tray. This is a common thing especially when traveling with children. They might put that snack on the tray as they open the drink. This is going to get them loads of bacteria.

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