What Gets You Sick on a Flight?

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” ~ Matthew Karsten

Photo by Brandon Nickerson from Pexels

Panic has stricken the world with the Coronavirus spreading. Especially in the travel industry where you are in closed quarters, such as an airplane or cruise ship, with hundreds or thousands of strangers. There is a reason to be worried. I’ve noticed how airplanes are not properly cleansed before departing to a new destination. Many times, the aircraft arrives at the airport within minutes of departing to its next destination. Even though the airlines claim they are cleaning the aircraft before boarding, which I’m sure is just picking up anything left on the floor or seats, there’s no way they could have gone through every aisle and seat to disinfect them.

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When I began traveling internationally, I noticed that after every flight I’d get sick with a cold or flu-like symptoms. It never failed. I’ve had the bad experience of arriving at my destination and continue to do what we planned even at the expense of me feeling like crap. It wasn’t that I boarded the plane feeling sick, I would always get sick upon arrival at our destination.

It was on one of those trips that I realized how the aircraft had not seen a good wiping in a while. When it was time to put down the tray for our meal was when we noticed it the most. Once I set it down, I felt disgusted. It was filthy with old grime and stains, which I’m not sure were food stains. I could see the grime accumulated in the corners of the tray and encrusted onto the grooves and crevices of the tray. I didn’t have anything to wipe it, so I asked the flight attendant for a wet wipe, cloth, or something to wipe it down. The aisles were blocked with the food carts, therefore, I had to opt for a wet napkin she provided.


Last Minute

Ever since then, I carry plenty of disinfectant wipes with me. As soon as we board the plane and reach our seats, we take out the disinfectant wipes and begin to wipe everything – even our seatbelts. We pull down the trays and wipe every nook and corner. If I’m in the window seat, I wipe its surrounding frame and window too. We wipe the menu’s, flight safety instruction booklet, magazines – anything and everything that we may touch. We also bring our own headphones, travel pillow and blanket. We prefer to use our own than those provided by the airline. I’m not too sure they were properly washed either.

I do believe it has worked. Ever since we began taking this approach, I haven’t gotten sick after a flight. Of course it doesn’t mean that there will be no coughing or sneezing from a fellow traveler and their germs won’t spread around the air. But, at least we’re trying to diminish the risks. Therefore, I encourage anyone who is flying to take precautionary measures and bring aboard disinfectant wipes. They don’t cost much and come in travel size. And, can save you from future headaches.


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