The Air Travel Secret That's No Longer A Secret
The dirtiest place on a jetliner is located
August 11, 2017
(NATIONAL) -- It looks quite benign. It is neither foul no fruit, this simple metallic object. But it just so happens, it's the dirtiest place on a commercial jetliner and one that most passengers touch quite often.
The dirtiest places found on jetliners and in airports. Graphic, courtesy TravelMath.com. CLICK TO OPEN
What is that object? Why it's the tray table that folds down in front of your seat. The one that you put food and drinks on.
The thing is, those tables are just filthy (pardon the pun) with germs, according to TravelMath.com
TravelMath hired an independent microbiologist to take samples from air vents, table trays and other places on airplanes and in airports -- five airports and four flights in all.
And it turned out tray tables that passengers touch every day contained 2,155 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.
Yikes. What was the next dirtiest place? Drinking fountain buttons at 1,240 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.
As a reference point, the average home toilet seat contains just 172 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.
From the TravelMath report:
"The general consensus from this study: Airports and airplanes are dirtier than your home. Surprisingly, it is the one surface that our food rests on – the tray table – that was the dirtiest of all the locations and surfaces tested.
Since this could provide bacteria direct transmission to your mouth, a clear takeaway from this is to eliminate any direct contact your food has with the tray table. It’s also advisable to bring hand sanitizer for any other dirty surface you may touch along your journey."
Take a look at other results from the study in the graphic at upper right to learn the other locations and surfaces you might want to clean with hand sanitizer wipes or just steer clear from.