15 Germiest Places You Should Avoid on a Plane and in the Airport

Planes and airports are notoriously germy places. In fact, one of the secrets airlines don’t want you to know is staff members clean tray tables, blankets, and pillows only infrequently. Just think of all the things you touch when you get on the plane. There’s the overhead bin, arm rest, window shade, and probably the tray table. Each one is covered in germs and microbes that might make you sick each time you fly. And the bacteria-infested surfaces in the airport aren’t much better.

According to Travelmath, airports and airplanes are dirtier than even the germiest places in your home. Want to know which places on the plane or in the airport are the worst? We have some answers. But we can’t promise you won’t want to fill your entire quart-sized plastic bag with hand sanitizer.

15. Security lines

A traveler walks past a newly-opened TSA Pre-check application center at Terminal C of the LaGuardia Airport on January 27, 2014 in New York City. Once approved, travelers can use special expidited Precheck security lanes. They can also leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, as well as keep their laptop and small containers of liquids inside carry-on luggage during security screening. The TSA plans to open more than 300 application centers across the country.

Watch out for germy surfaces in the security area. | John Moore/Getty Images

None of us likes waiting in line and going through security. But this area of airport poses more than just inconvenience. In fact, The Huffington Post warns it’s a prime area for exposure to all kinds of bugs and bacteria.

Plenty of people walk barefoot through security. Travelers with coughs, colds, the flu, and worse handle all of the bins. People steady themselves on the tables and benches. And it’s not unreasonable to think unhygienic children have touched just about everything within easy reach. The moral of the story? Keep your socks on, and have the hand sanitizer at the ready.

Next: The bathroom stall locks in the airport restrooms

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