Flying is stressful. You’re worried if you’ll get dragged off the flight because you had five dark and stormy cocktails at the gate to attempt to calm your nerves but it might cause you to be a bit of a dipshit once you board the plane. You’re also concerned that you might have to sit next to a gentleman who is seemingly allergic to bathing, smells like a rotting sack of onions, and is also nervous about flying so he’s sweating like Patrick Ewing on the foul line. Then there’s the fear that your airplane might crash into the Atlantic Ocean and your dear, sweet mother will see your shameful internet history. If there wasn’t enough to worry about, I’m here to give you more paranoia about how atrocious air travel is with details on how disgusting airplanes are. Enjoy!
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Marketplace set out to find out what the dirtiest places on an airplane are and you’ll wish they hadn’t because you constantly touch these areas during your flight. Investigators took 18 flights at various times between Ottawa and Montreal on Canada’s major carriers: Air Canada, WestJet, and Porter. They collected more than 100 samples from inside the plane by swabbing high traffic areas such as seatbelts, tray tables, headrests, seat pockets, and washroom handles.
Microbiologist Keith Warriner tested the samples for different types of bacteria at a lab at the University of Guelph. Warriner looked for bacteria such as yeast, mould, E. coli, and other pathogens that could put a person at risk for infection. “I was really amazed about how much we actually recovered from them,” Warriner said. “Some of them more scary than others.”
Are you ready to never relax on another flight for the rest of your life? The dirtiest place on an airplane is the headrest. That’s right, the place with the most bacteria is the headrest. Forget a travel neck pillow, get a hazmat suit to keep out the diseased air.
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If that wasn’t scary enough, the second grossest place on a plane might even be more repulsive. The investigators found that the second nastiest place on a plane was seat pockets. That is because the investigative team found nauseating items such as used tampons, condoms, dirty diapers, and half-eaten sandwiches. What is wrong with you Canada?
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Warriner discovered E. coli bacteria on the seat pocket and the headrest. That means they found evidence of fecal contamination on the headrest and seat pocket. Let me repeat — they found turds on the headrests and seat pockets.
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Why? Why do humans not discard those odious objects and why is there dookie on the headrests? People are messed up. “We’ve got to try and think how would fecal contamination get inside [the seat pocket],” said Warriner. I wholeheartedly agree.
The bathroom handle was the third most disgusting area on an airplane. If you thought you’d be slick and avoid germs on the headrest by placing your face on the tray table you thought wrong. The fourth grossest place is the tray table. Good thing you eat food off of it and ingest all of those delectable viruses. The fifth most offensive problem area is the seat belt.
TSA allows you to bring disinfecting wipes on a flight. Forget baby wipes, this is me getting ready for my next flight.
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