Hideyuki KAMON, Flickr
Study after study shows that airplanes and airports are absolute cesspools of germs. The fact that some people manage to travel and not get horribly sick is absolutely incredible. Ladders recently reported that airport kiosks have 1,475 times the amount of bacteria than your house’s toilet seat but the danger doesn’t stop there. Heck, you aren’t even on the plane yet. And according to new research, that’s where the real icky germs are. In fact you are basically sitting in them for the duration of the flight.
According to a new study from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Marketplace, one of the grossest places on an airplane is that seat-back pocket. Apparently people look at that pocket as a trash can. And we aren’t just talking gum wrappers. Think more like food remnants, dirty diapers and used condoms and tampons. Permission to scream now.
But wait, it’s not over yet. There is also a ton of bacteria on the headrest. Apparently both of these areas get the least amount of cleaning focus. So even if you think it looks clean, it really isn’t. “We don’t have rags, we don’t have spray on board,” former WestJet employee Stéphane Poirier told Marketplace. “Lots of [cleaners] are a dangerous good … so it’s either water from the aircraft, or a napkin.” Well that’s great. Apparently airplane cleaners approach cleaning with the same amount of enthusiasm I do.
As for the the next three germiest places the washroom handle came in next not surprisingly. People still believe that washing their hands after using the facility is just a suggestion. This was followed by the tray table and then your seatbelt.”With 2,155 microbes per square inch, the table tray is far dirtier than a typical airplane toilet seat, making it an extremely unsanitary surface to eat your food from,” Microban International noted. “To ensure that your tray table is fresh, use a disinfectant wipe to clean the surface both before and after using it. We would also recommend putting something down (such as a clean tissue) to prevent contact between your food and the tray table.” That cozy airplane blanket isn’t too great either and those come in a sealed package. Permission to scream again.
But wait it gets better. What kind of bacteria are they finding on all these places you will be putting your body on? Samples collected from various flights that were then analyzed at the University of Guelph found E. coli, mold, and yeast. And of all of these were at high enough levels to cause infections in humans. You may want to pack your hazmat suit for your next flight.