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Airplanes: The Flying Germ

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

By Jacqueline Riddle

The holidays are just around the corner and it’s time to travel and visit new places. Vacations during the month of December are very common. In the year 2017, nearly 107.3 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles from their home during the last week of December, according to Reuters. Many people go traveling because it takes their mind off of their job or other life stressors. What they don’t realize is that the places they travel aren’t as sanitary as they believe. 

Our closest airport (only nine minutes away from Point Loma High) had assisted 24 million people with their travels in the year 2018, according to San Diego International Airport. There are dozens of gates in each terminal and even more planes. When traveling through different airports and planes, there are many things you should avoid. According to USA Today, public bathrooms have fewer bacteria than public water fountains. Also, you may assume that the flight attendants clean in between each flight, but do they? The first thing you need to think about when on planes are the tray tables. When planes have quick turnarounds the flight attendants do not have time to sanitize each tray. Disgusting things have been seen happening on these tables. What could be disgusting you ask? Diapers have been changed on them, barf bags have been stowed too close for comfort, and dirty tissues have laid on them, is that where you really want to eat? If not, there’s one simple solution; just bring sanitized wipes and wipe it down. 

On longer flights, airplanes provide you with a pillow and blanket. What could be so bad if they’re in a sealed bag? Well, these accessories aren’t cleaned between the shorter flights, the person who used it before you could’ve been sick or even had lice. Choose the safer path and not use these plane attachments. Although the seat pockets seem like a great place to store your phone while taking a nap, next time you go flying you should think twice. Many bacteria-covered items are put into that pocket; dirty tissues, excess food, and just general trash. These pockets are definitely not deep-cleaned between the flights. The next time you travel to an airport think about the things around you. 

Although you may think something is clean, it could be covered in germs… looks can be deceiving. The holidays are a great time to travel but be aware of all the germs around you.

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