What is more scary than snakes on a plane? The information we’ll share in this post just might be.
There have been several news reports lately that tested bacteria levels on different parts of planes. We were all pretty sure that the bathrooms on planes were dirty but, these results showed that you need to be concerned about more then just the bathroom.
Now, I am particularly sensitive to germs but, usually don’t do much about it in the plane when I travel. I guess I travel so much that I just assumed that there wasn’t much I could do about it. Mrs. Weekly Flyer on the other hand is diligent about using hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes when she travels. She also wipes down the surfaces of our seats when we travel together, and I mean all surfaces. I thought she was nuts…until I read this article.
Recent reports show many different types of bacteria on the door handles, tray tables (yes, where you eat off) and in particular the seat pockets where the magazines are. Bacteria found within the seat pocket included bacteria found in the human gut. Yes, that’s right bacteria consistent with the type found in urine and stool. It makes sense actually if you think about it. People stuff all types of items in the seat pockets like dirty food items, snotty tissues and it is likely rarely cleaned.
There are also studies that show how sickness, viruses and influenza can spread rapidly throughout a plane when the air is not circulating, i.e. engines are off. When the air circulating system is on, you can feel a little better because planes are supposed to be equipped with HEPA air filters that are supposed to capture most bacteria and virus-carrying particles.
Don’t get to distraught about germs on a plane because there are precautions that you can take to keep the germs and sickness away:
- Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water prior to and during the flight
- Consider using saline spray which may reduce your risk of infection
- Use hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to wipe down surfaces before using
- Avoid the seat back pocket and anything in it, don’t put your items in it if concerned
- Raise concerns with the flight attendant if the air circulation system is off for an extended period of time