We all love soaring through the skies and exploring new horizons, but have you ever stopped to wonder about the not-so-glamorous side of flying? Only the other day, over lunch, did I discover that one of the dirtiest places on an airplane is the basket or seat pockets. Yeap, you read that right. How often have we stowed something away in that seemingly innocent basket?
I was instantly grossed out and wasted no time finding statistical data because I simply needed to know. Buckle up because we’re about to reveal the dirtiest places on an airplane. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back with some fun tips to keep the germs at bay!
1. Tray tables – the culprit of crumbs
We all love that little fold-down table, especially during mealtime or placing our iPad on for some in-flight entertainment. But guess what? That tray table has been home to more snacks than your toddler’s car seat. Maybe only parents may understand this, but basically, it’s like a buffet for bacteria! High levels of mould have been found on this airplane surface, and whatever you do, avoid putting your face down on the tray table to sleep!
Our tip? Give it a quick wipe-down with disinfectant wipes before unleashing your in-flight feast.
2. Seat pockets – a treasure trove of germs
Those seat pockets or baskets in front of you? They’ve held everything from gum wrappers to used tissues. And even soiled diapers! So, it’s really no surprise what germs have decided to set up camp there, and there’s a lot of them.
Our tip? Keep your essentials like snacks and reading material in a handy pouch instead of diving into the depths of the seat pocket.
3. Restroom surfaces – wash, rinse, (don’t) repeat
Ah, the airplane lavatory. It’s where we freshen up mid-flight, but it’s also a hotbed for germs, with so many people doing their dirty business in there. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly, and consider using a paper towel to touch surfaces.
Our tip? A dab of hand sanitiser post-wash can be your secret weapon.
4. Seatbelt buckles – belts and bacteria
It’s essential to stay safe, so we buckle up when on an airplane. But in an age where all sorts of viruses are thriving, we can pay a little extra attention to those seat belt bucks. Wipe them down before fastening them up, and you’re good to go unless you want traces of mould and yeast on you.
Our tip? If you don’t already have a packet of anti-bacterial wipes, then your hand sanitiser can have its time in the spotlight!
5. Air vents and controls – airborne adventures for germs
The air vents and controls might be your best friends for staying comfy because who wants to sit through a stuffy flight? There’s no way to make a journey more uncomfortable. But they’re also a prime spot for lurking germs, believe it or not.
Our tip? Keep the air flowing but give those buttons a gentle disinfecting wipe before adjusting.
6. Overhead bins – where luggage and germs collide
The overhead bin is a shared space for everyone’s belongings, and you know what that means – a breeding ground for microbes. Keep your stuff in a sealed bag, and try not to touch the bin surface more than necessary.
Our tip? Wrap your hand carry with a washable luggage wrapper if possible. That way, once you’ve reached your destination, just whip it off and wash it if possible.
7. Headrest – (do not) lean on me
Next to the tray tables, your seat’s headrest comes at a close second as the dirtiest place on an airplane. Haemolytic bacteria like staph and E. coli have been found, and high traces of them too, so get wiping!
Our tip? It goes without saying that you should be wiping everything down, but another pro tip is to wash your hair the minute you reach your destination. Avoid chillin’ before washin’.
Before you start picturing a microscopic army all around you, remember that not all germs are bad. Our bodies have some pretty cool defence mechanisms, and your immune system is like a superhero cape against the common cold. But if you’re a germ-conscious traveller like us, these tips will help you navigate the not-so-squeaky clean side of flying.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general knowledge purposes only. Always follow official health guidelines and consult with a medical professional for advice on staying healthy during air travel.