What do you think is the dirtiest place on an airplane? The natural inclination is something in that bathroom, but you would be surprised!
When I started traveling 75% of my week on long haul international flights during my corporate career, my immune system quickly took a hit. I was increasingly getting sick right after flights both to my work meetings and also back home for the weekends. Leave it to my Mom to suggest taking some Lysol Wipes to wipe down my seat area before flight.
Magic – the colds and flus were much less frequent.
So it was no surprise to me when a new study by TravelMath came out testing airport and airplane surfaces for bacteria. The results are in and here are the ranking of the dirtiest places and surfaces on airplanes and at airports:
- Airplane Tray table – 2,155 CFU/sq. in.
- Airport Drinking fountain buttons – 1,240 CFU/sq. in.
- Airplane Overhead air vent – 285 CFU/sq. in.
- Airplane Lavatory flush button – 265 CFU/sq. in.
- Airplane Seatbelt buckle – 230 CFU/sq. in.
- Airport Bathroom stall locks – 70 CFU/sq. in.
It is now an airplane ritual to wipe down the seat tray, seat belts, seat arms and the windows right when I sit down. My neighbors usually ask if they can have one, which I gladly give them one, or I sneakily try to do it before they sit down.
Once an older woman on the aisle accepted my offer of a lysol wipe. The guy in the middle seat said he did not need one as his wife was a nurse and gave him lots of antibiotics. The older woman on the aisle huffed and said, “Your wife does not pump me full of drugs so I will be wiping your tray too!” Ha! I loved her for getting our row sanitized!
Good luck and stay healthy with less germs on your next flight.
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