Top 5 filthiest areas in an airplane that can make you sick

Originally published at:

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Airlines make me sick even without the germs.


You might as well wear latex gloves from the point you leave your hermetically sealed house in the morning.

Since you don’t want to think about what’s on the steering wheel of that rental car, the remote control in the hotel room, and the walk button on that crosswalk.


So much more elegantly presented than what I was about to post. :slight_smile:


No mention of the dangers of aisle seat blood when they drag passengers off the plane?

At this point, I’m more concerned with the airlines own overactive immune system than any pathogens left behind by other passengers.


I wish there were more ships sailing and trains rolling


Any place an air marshal sits. Too much airline food.


…You Won’t Believe Number Four!


while flying I stick to these rules:

  1. douse hand sanitizer on everything I’ll be touching around my seat (seat belt, tray table, armrests, etc.
  2. point the air vent about a foot in front of my face.
  3. only use my elbows in the bathroom. more hand sanitizer back at the seat.
  4. never touch my face.

Now we just need to know how often you fly and the frequency of illness within the few days following each flight. :slight_smile:


Another problem to consider. Flushing can cause misting from the bowl to be directed upward several feet.


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Anyone else see a causal relation between the two articles at the top of the BB site:


What is the point of these types of articles?

  • Is there an issue with these filthiest areas that requires action on the part of the airline?
  • Is knowing about this going to be beneficial to my health in any way?

We live with germs. I sleep with them on my pillow at night. In the morning I have a shower with my germs and they get a nice wash with me. I put on my germ infested clothes and go out into my germ infested world and I get more germs. Everyday a germ party in my pants. The germs have won, won dominion over my body, over the world, and of course germs in Government, etc (actually those last germs are a concern).


Do they ever vaccuum out planes? Older planes are like flying dustpans. Is this an aspect of deregulation?
In other words, imagine how much your ticket would cost if they actually cleaned the planes.

I remember when people with Autism and OCD just used to write code, now they write online articles.


and yet here we are … not dead.

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I gave up drinking alcohol on planes, and started asking for a tomato juice during in flight service. (Lots of vitamin c, no sugar)

That, coupled with filling a water bottle post-security has dramatically cut down on the amount of con flu I come down with.


Here’s something interesting that’s somewhat related - Cabin Crew get a bunch of extra sick-days(or did, when I was flying) in their first year or so on the line, because it’s assumed that the regular exposure to that many traveling people on such a constant basis in a closed environment will make you dreadfully ill a few times before your immune system catches up and turns into an unstoppable juggernaut. It’s amazing to look at when you graph it out, Cabin Crew sick days peak about six to eight months into the first year, and then drop like a stone.

You also get extra sick days for any headcolds and the like - because the company would rather you take a day off, than fly with plugged up sinuses and blow out an eardrum, which would see you off work for much longer than your usual dose of the sniffles.

Do they ever vaccuum out planes? Older planes are like flying dustpans. Is this an aspect of deregulation?

In other words, imagine how much your ticket would cost if they actually cleaned the planes.

Planes are cleaned surprisingly regularly. There’s three levels of cleaning they usually get.

The first, between flights, is pretty simple - mostly just tidying up rubbish, cleaning the bathrooms, maybe a quick vacuum if there’s time, which there isn’t always.

The second, for terminating flights(ie, last flight for that aircraft for the day), is more thorough - everything in the first level, plus wiping down tables and (non-cloth) armrests, vacuuming the floors and seats, so on.

The third, which generally only happens at hanger maintenance time, the whole thing is given a very thorough clean - carpets and seats shampooed, everything accessible wiped down, bins cleaned, seat-belts cleaned, the works. It varies by airframe and airline as to how often these happen, but every 500 flight hours is a good enough baseline. It seems like a lot, but do keep in mind, I clocked up around a thousand flight hours in my first year on the job as cabin crew. Though admittedly, I was a bit of a hard-charger, and took some extra shifts quite regularly.

And to answer your other question, yes, in most places, it is a matter of regulation.