An view of an empty airplane aisle and rows of seats
Avoid Touching These Spots On An Airplane
Travelmath had a microbiologist swab five airports and four planes to see where bacteria congregated. The worst spot was the seatback tray tables.
Tray Tables
Other researchers have found viruses that cause respiratory infections and the superbug MRSA, which causes skin infections. Wipe it down, use a cover, or avoid use if possible.
CBC took 100 samples over 18 flights and found E. Coli in seatback pockets, a hazardous bacteria to the digestive system and intestines.
Seatback Pockets
Some passengers stash their trash, chewed gum, used tissues, filled air sickness bags, and even dirty diapers in these pockets.
Cleaning crews don't have enough time to deep clean a plane between flights, especially areas that are hard to clean. Unfortunately, seatback pockets are one of those areas.
It's not guaranteed that blankets and pillows get washed between uses. If yours aren't sealed in plastic or a wrapper, take that as a big red flag.
Blankets And Pillows
The only way to avoid questionable sanitization is to bring your own washable travel pillow or blanket or invest in antimicrobial pillowcases.
Cabin air is quite clean as it is heavily filtered, brought from outside, and changes every three minutes, but many dirty hands have touched the air vent.
Air Vents
Travelmath found that the vents have more bacteria than the toilet flush button. Adjust the vent with an antibacterial wipe when you first board, and don't touch it again.
Every passenger must touch the seatbelt buckle. Yet, they are seldom cleaned and are the third-germiest surface on the plane, according to Travelmath tests.
Seatbelt Buckles
Our best advice is to clean your hands after touching your buckle. Clip a small sanitizer bottle to your personal item so it's accessible throughout the flight and after deplaning.