Don’t Touch That! The Dirtiest Parts of the Airplane Cabin

With the Christmas travel season approaching, many of us will fly to visit friends and family and enjoy warm-weather and wintry

retreats. Between worrying about high ticket prices, airline delays, and cancellations, travelers may be wondering where the dirtiest seats

The Washington Post's piece on aviation's dirtiest spots based on germ-detection swabs wasn't surprising, but it was disconcerting.

A flight attendant, who requested anonymity since she works for a large U.S. airline, told AFAR that she has seen some awful

things, like too many passengers wearing socks to the restroom. She believes pee is likely on a moist bathroom floor.

The Washington Post experiment found the bathroom sink handle to be the worst source of germs, while the U.S. flight

attendant warned us to avoid the door handle because “a lot of people don’t wash their hands.” She says she can tell by how soon people leave 

A 2019 Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center Airline Water Study found that the water airlines use for coffee, tea, and the lavatory sink may be unhealthy, complicating in-flight hand

washing. An AFAR report on the 2019 study suggests not skipping this step. After washing and drying their hands, passengers can use hand sanitizer.

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