Flight done right
Flying in a plane requires a lot of remembering: did I pack everything on my checklist? Am I wearing the right clothes? Did I bring along my passport? The mental checklists are endless, but it’s more important than ever to be prepared. As Terry Suero, senior board member of Safe Travel Pathways, says, “Until the airlines are back to normal with routes and staffing, it is important to plan for the unexpected. Flights will be delayed; airplanes will be in the tarmac for extended periods of time; staffing is limited; people are stressed; flights will be cancelled; etc.” Not to mention getting through security. One key to a stress-free trip? Make sure you never do these things on an airplane.
Don’t eat food after it’s fallen on the tray table
Airline crews do their best to sanitise the plane, but there are still things on a plane that don’t get cleaned as well as they should. “The tray table is notorious,” says professor of epidemiology, Stephen Morse. “Those tray tables are used for all kinds of things,” adds Ferguson. “During flights, I’ve seen parents changing babies on top of tray tables. I’ve seen people put their bare feet on top of tray tables.” One study found that trays harbour an average of 2155 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch. Compare that with the 265 units on the lavatory flush button. And while all samples tested negative for potentially infectious bacteria such as E. coli, you’ll still want to steer clear of that tray. An extra safety tip in the time of COVID-19: wipe down your tray table and any other surfaces with disinfectant wipes before using.
Please! Don’t walk around barefoot
Going shoeless on plane might annoy your neighbour, but there’s a more important reason you shouldn’t do it. Flight attendants have seen everything from vomit to blood to spilled food hit that carpet.
“We see people walking from their seats into the bathrooms all the time barefoot and we cringe because those floors are full of germs,” said Linda Ferguson, a flight attendant for 24 years.
“Never walk barefoot into the bathroom or the galley area because sometimes we drop glasses and there could be sharp glass there, too.”