How to Avoid Getting Sick on Your Next Flight

  Ever since Britney Spears released her “Toxic” music video I have been searching all of the travel websites for that exact airline

Photo: Unsplash/@by_syeoni

Photo: Unsplash/@by_syeoni

Ever since Britney Spears released her “Toxic” music video I have been searching all of the travel websites for that exact airline. The closest thing I got was a flight to Cancun on AeroMexico with two shots of tequila. And I have to tell you, those flight attendants weren’t nearly as hot as Britney but the fact that they gave me one free shot made the flight entertaining.

So just when I thought nothing could be better than free tequila on an airplane, leave it to the measles to come in and ruin everything. It all started on a flight from Asia to San Francisco in February. The news reported that one contagious individual on that flight was responsible for the outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all the outbreaks in 2019 have been linked to travelers who carried the virus from countries with lower vaccination rates and affected people who were not vaccinated.

First of all, an important thing to note is that the individuals who were infected were not vaccinated. And although measles is considered one of the most contagious viruses in the world, you’re more likely to catch influenza, which according to the Journal of Environmental Health Research, is 113 times more likely to be transmitted on a plane than on the ground in your normal daily life. Second, and most importantly, we should take better precautions to avoid getting sick and become more aware of the symptoms of these types of viruses.

With that being said, airplanes are filthy places. Reports show that the average tray table has more germs than the toilet seat at your favorite bar. Other germy spots on an airplane include seatbelt buckles, seatback pockets, and the top of your actual seat. If you’re Latina, now is the time to put your mom’s cleaning habits to good use. Bust out your Clorox Bleach and take these small steps to decrease your chances of having an illness-free vacation.


Get yourself some disinfecting wipes

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Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is nastier than sitting in a seat full of other people’s sweat and germs. I’m pretty sure disinfecting wipes are made for that very reason. You can get small travel packs at your local drugstore and any brand will do. Side note: Fabuloso needs to come out with disinfecting wipes.


Get those wipes out as soon as you start boarding

Sure you brought wipes, but you can’t forget to use them. Once you’ve arrived at your seat, you’ll need to stow your bags and start disinfecting. Just an FYI, people will probably stare but just ignore them. If anything, you should be the one staring at them because they probably didn’t wipe down anything at all.


Disinfect (correctly)

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Anybody can wipe down a seat…what, like its hard? But there is a right way to do it and many wrong ways. The right way: wipe down all hard, solid surfaces thoroughly. Read and follow the directions on the package. Usually, surfaces need to stay visibly wet between thirty seconds to four minutes.


Upholstered seats

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You can’t use disinfecting wipes on upholstered surfaces, duh. I would recommend asking the flight attendant for a blanket to cover the seat with or you can actually buy disposable airplane seat covers.


Seatback pockets

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According to several studies, seatback pockets have one of the highest concentrations of germs. So you should probably never use that seatback pocket again, like ever. Promise? If you’re someone who needs to use this pocket I would suggest buying Flight 001 Seat Pak or a High Altitude Flight Bag.

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