How to Stay Safe While Flying

One of the fastest ways of spreading disease is to buy an airplane ticket. I read a recent study that says you have a 20% chance to avoid getting sick every time you fly. That means 1 in 5 people are starting their trip under the weather. ย Apparently, the skies aren’t as friendly as we thought. And airport safety includes protecting yourself from an invisible enemy– the common cold?

How to Stay Safe While Flying

How to Stay Safe While Flying

Buying an airplane ticket is one of the fastest ways of spreading disease. A recent study says you have a 20% chance of avoiding getting sick every time you fly. That means 1 in 5 people are starting their trip under the weather. I am so staying safe while flying is a real problem. The skies aren’t as friendly as we thought. And airport safety includes protecting yourself from invisible enemies– germs and the common cold?

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Airplane Safety

How to Stay Safe While Flying

We all know the armrests, seat-back tray tables, and pockets are majors culprits. Viruses and bacteria can live for hours on some of these surfaces. However, there is little to no government inspection of cleaning requirements in the US or other parts of the world. Consequently, it’s up to the individual airline carriers to set their guidelines for safety. As a result, most airlines don’t put much effort into our efforts to avoid getting sick. So ultimately, you are also responsible for creating a germ-free environment.

Avoid Getting Sick

Airplane Cleaning Crews

That cleaning crew that comes in after you deplane a domestic flight will vacuum, pick up loose debris, and empty trash cans in the lavatories. And most planes receive a thorough overall once per month. That’s it.

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Airline food on a China Southern flight from Busan Korea to Guangzhou China

Designed to be Touched
But Don’t Touch That.

Question. What’s dirtier– the airplane toilet seat or the seat-back tray table? I’ll give you a hint. Neither one is a germ-free environment.  And it’s not the toilet. Just let that sink in for a minute. There are a million pieces of hardware on an airplane designed to be touched.  And the one-piece intended for your personal and most intimate use is the worst offender.

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So What Can You Do?
Germ-free Environment

1. Travel with hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissue, and your favorite travel essential oils. Wipe down the tray table, armrest, remote control, air vent controls, recline button, etc.

2. Open the vents overhead. The air that comes out of them is heavily filtered and will circulate the air around you.

3. Avoid touching your face, mouth, or eyes. Wash your hands often. Don’t put your cell phone, laptop,  purse, etc. directly on the floor. And wear socks, so your bare feet don’t come in contact with the floor.

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4. Get plenty of rest before your flight. A lot of us don’t rest before we travel, opting to pack or tie up loose ends. However, packing late into the night is not wise. A tired body is more susceptible to illness.

5. Dress in layers and bring a pashmina or large shawl so you can opt-out of the pillows & blankets offered by the airlines. Although they may come to you in plastic, they probably weren’t laundered before your flight.

6. Stay out of the “fart box” and stay hydrated. Fluids aid in digestions, help decrease the effects of exhaustion and muscle cramps.

7. Carry a couple of cough drops for the dry air. Nothing worse than a dry cough in a confined space. And its an added measure against airborne contaminants.

8. And finally. Don’t travel sick if you can help it. The rest of us genuinely appreciate it.

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20 thoughts on “How to Stay Safe While Flying

  1. Great tips!
    Oh I am fully aware of all of this and that tray eeek! I bring my own chemical free wipes, and essential oils, hand sanitizer. We also take an airborne or something similar to “boost” immunity for a little bit.

    I liked the part to keep the air vent on, I always thought that’d circulate the germs around me lol.

  2. Oh man, I hope I don’t get sick when I fly. I always worry about this. We’re flying in October so I plan on bringing wipes and hand sanitizer. Fingers crossed! I try not to panic when I think about all the germs. I’m not one that normally panics about germs, but ick!

    1. I know, its icky. I hate when something like my pen drops into the cushions and I have to fish them out. But you’ll be ok as long as you wipe everything down. I’m heading out later this month to visit my daughter in Italy and although I hate the plane part, I love the Italy part way more. lol

  3. Germs are scary but if you’re aware and bring sanitizing wipes and wash your hands that can help you stay healthy. Lastly, I think it’s important to remember that our skin’s pores are open, so we have to watch what we put on our skin.

  4. So true about the…One piece designed for your personal and most intimate use is the worst offender. The same goes for a restaurant, the seats and menus are dirtier than the toilets. Some things we don’t think about! Yuk.

  5. I’ve never been on the plane before and I didn’t really know I could get sick there. However, on the second thought, you’re really right about the dirt and I’ll try to have hand sanitizer on me from now on! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Wow, in a way, I am very jealous of you. I would love to have the of my first airplane ride excitement. If you ever decide to go on an airplane, I’d really like to read about your experience.

    1. You are very lucky then and keep up what you are doing. I generally get a little dryness in my throat from the dry, uncirculated air, so I always carry cough lozenges.

  6. WOW things you never think about. I would have assumed the trays would be cleaner than a toilet, but this makes complete sense and I’m glad I don’t fly often but next time I do, this list will be at the top of my mind!

    1. Think about all the handles, door knobs, public faucets, etc… Now even supermarkets keeps wipes near the carts. To think of it is pretty gross. lol

  7. I always thought I got sick from planes, but it just turns out my coughing and runny nose are from changes in climate/my environment. Still plan to wipe down EVERYTHING in my seat though, yikes!

    1. So true, altitude sickness is a thing. try sniffing a little peppermint before, during and after the flight to see if that helps.

  8. These are great suggestions. I really hadn’t considered how gross and dirty the seat-back try is…it makes total sense, but I never really thought about what a petri dish of germs it could be. I am going to be more mindful the next time I travel.

    1. I look at it sideways when I get on the plane. But I get on the plane anyway cause I’m addicted to travel. I just carry Young Living’s Thieves spray and wipes and tissue. I also like to spray a little of it or purification around me too.

  9. I have heard so many different things about where the biggest offenders of germs are. Cell phones are one of the worst ones ironically. I have gotten sick from planes. Having hand sanitizer now would be essential.

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