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 every 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.
1. Latches on overhead bins
USA Today reports the latches on overhead bins get a lot of handling, but almost no cleaning. That makes them a hotbed for bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
Passengers are constantly fighting to find room for all of their belongings in the overhead thanks to rising airline fees for checked baggage. That means that passengers repeatedly open and close multiple bins, looking for a place to stash their bag or coat. If you needed another reason to travel light and fit everything into a bag that will slide under the seat in front of you, reducing your exposure to germs — and cutting your chances of catching a cold — is a good one.
Next: Bring your own reading material to avoid this germy item.