1. Don’t eat food that’s fallen on the tray table
The tray table is one of the filthiest places on a plane. Always carry some disinfectant wipes with you and give it a good clean. If you haven’t got a wipe, avoid contact with the surface.
“The tray table is notorious,” said Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
People use the tray table for all sorts of things, from a foot rest to a baby change table. Steer clear at all costs.
2. Don’t have ice in your drink
Avoid all tap water on a plane. Drink from bottled water only, as an EPA study found that out of 327 aircraft’s water supplies, only 15 per cent passed health standards.
Ice cubes are often made with tap water, so be content to have a drink at room temperature. You could be saving yourself from a lot of bugs.
3. Don’t fall asleep against the window
This might sound like a strange one, but imagine all of the other people that have done the same thing.
If you have disinfectant wipes, give it a good clean, otherwise avoid contact with surfaces that people might have sneezed or coughed on.
4. Don’t use the blankets
Bring your own blanket or wear a jumper when you’re on an aircraft. The airline blankets are not regularly washed and it’s the ideal place to harbour germs and lice.
“I see people wrap their feet in the blankets, I see people sneeze in the blankets,” said Linda Ferguson, a flight attendant for 24 years.
5. Don’t walk around barefoot
You might feel more comfortable with your shoes off, but you could be walking on some pretty icky floor.
“We see people walking from their seats into the bathrooms all the time barefoot and we cringe because those floors are full of germs,” Ferguson adds.
“Never walk barefoot into the bathroom or the galley area because sometimes we drop glasses and there could be sharp glass there, too.”