The germiest place in the airport is not what you would think

Anyone who manages to not get sick after traveling on a plane, even if it is only an hour-long domestic flight, has the immune system of a superman. Let’s face it: Airports are cesspools of germs just waiting to infect us.

But when you think of the absolute grossest places in the airport most of us would maybe think of the plane or the waiting area gates or maybe somewhere in the bathroom as the most germ-filled places, but that would be wrong. Nope, the real danger is pretty much the first stop you make when you arrive at the airport: the ticket kiosk. According to, the kiosks have more than 1,475 times the amount of bacteria than your house’s toilet seat. Gross. Check out the infographic below for some more details on the germiest airplane surfaces.

To determine this the research team conducted 18 tests across six surfaces from three major U.S. airports and airline flights.  They found that the average self check-in screen had 253,857 CFU (colony-forming units) which is more than 11 times the average CFU of an airline gate armrest and 13 times the average CFU of an airport water fountain button. In other words, you should be wearing latex gloves and a face mask when you go to print your boarding pass.

When you are at the kiosk the most common type of germs you will come in contact with are gram-positive cocci (organisms that can create an infection consisting of, containing, or discharging pus), gram-positive rods (probiotic bacteria that can also be pathogenic) and yeast. Check out more of the germs that are all over the airport in the infographic below.