*Remember that horrid story about the Asian doctor who was dragged down the aisle of an airplane? He was bleeding profusely from the head from an injury sustained as he was being manhandled.
Think about it: Is there any chance some of his blood got on the floor? Do you think the entire carpet was cleaned…or just the spots where his blood appeared? You’d be right to doubt it.
Oh the germs that linger.
All of this is to say that the general populous has left all kinds of matter on airplanes — which is why there are some things you should never, ever, do on an airplane
…like take your shoes off.
DON’T! Flight attendants reportedly cringe when they see folks walking to the restrooms barefoot. Of course they may not tell you the real reason why. They may say something like, for your safety, in the event a sharp object like a piece of broken glass is lurking. But what they are not saying is, these floors are rarely cleaned well, just spot cleaned. So any kind if germs that may have spread as a result of someone getting sick (read throwing up) or bleeding may still be there.
You should also know about those restrooms…Surface-wise, it looks pretty clean in there, although the smell isn’t always fresh. That’s because in between flights, the bathrooms are only given a quick spray of disinfectant, a wipe down, and then restocked with toilet paper. And sorry to break it to you, but that liquid you see on the floor most likely isn’t water.
Can we say “Eu” again?
If you’re offered ice, say ‘No thank you!’
Airlines may not serve tap water, but where do you think those ice cubes come from? Linda Ferguson, a Flight Attendant of 24 years says this:
“Water tanks on an airplane are old and they’ve tested them and bacteria is in those tanks. I would definitely drink bottled water—that’s why they board tons of bottles on an airplane.”
This is also why airline food tastes so bad.
Now this next one is VERY interesting!
Don’t sit in your seat the entire time of your flight
You may develop blood clots. Medically termed, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) — a type of blood clot that usually forms in your legs. Coined as “economy-class syndrome” getting up and walking around for a few minutes or standing up to stretch helps to prevent it.
Also, try to avoid tight clothing that could cut off circulation while in flight. “The most important thing is to try to move around and move your legs at least once every hour,” said Catherine Sonquist Forest, MD, a primary care doctor at Stanford University Health Care. “If you can’t get up, you can do exercises in your seat by lifting alternate knees up to your chest and twisting in your chair from side to side.”
That air vent overhead…Don’t turn it off!
Uh, you might want to use a blanket or put a sweater on if the air coming from that vent overhead makes you chilly. Don’t close it!
Doctors recommend that the adjustable air over your seat should be set to medium or high in flight so that any airborne germs can be blown away before they enter your personal zone. These tips can help protect your skin on a plane so it doesn’t dry out.
Let it go! Don’t be tempted to pick up that crumb off the tray!
Oh god. Some things you’d think we wouldn’t have to say. You know you shouldn’t eat anything that has fallen on a tray. This is especially true for those airplane eating trays. While many fast food restaurants use paper, this is not the case on the plane where you just pull the tray down in front of you.
“The tray table is notorious,” said Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Ferguson adds that tray tables are usually only wiped down once a day, when the plane goes into an overnight station. “Those tray tables are used for all kinds of things,” said Ferguson. “During flights, I’ve seen parents changing babies on top of tray tables. I’ve seen people put their bare feet on top of tray tables.”
Don’t use airline blankets and pillows!
Oh god. We’re screwed! Who hasn’t used these items!??? Yeah. Yeah, I know. When you know better, you do better. But is it too late?
“I see people wrap their feet in the blankets, I see people sneeze in the blankets,” Ferguson says. The blankets and pillows offered are recycled flight to flight. They don’t get properly washed until the day is over. These items are the perfect place for germs and lice to camp out and spread from person to person.
Like I said…god help us everyone.
Don’t booze it up too much
Alcohol is dehydrating, and since air travel offer low humidity, dehydration can happen rapidly.
Add to this the thin-air of a plane makes the effects of alcohol hit you faster, and harder; and the whole “I’ll have anither!” thing will do nothing but lower your immune system in general. Keep this in mind for pre-flight rituals at the airport bar as well.
“One drink in the air is like drinking two on the ground—it can affect you faster,” said Ferguson. “We’ve been known to water down drinks a lot or if someone just keeps wanting glasses of wine, we’ll pour half a glass instead of a whole glass.”
These tips were just the beginning. There are SO many other things to look out for when you’re in flight. This article goes into much more depth.