4 of the germiest places in airports and on flights

Taylor Pittman

Considering the millions of people who move about in airports and on airplanes every day, it’s no surprise that these travel hubs may make you a bit more cautious about germs.

Most germs you come across every day aren’t dangerous unless you have an immune deficiency or an open wound. Bacteria and viruses surround us, and many are harmless. But there are some spots that lots of people come into contact with that you might want to keep in mind while traveling, just to be safe.

We rounded up a few studies and experiments to point out four germy spots in airports and on flights that you might want to give a quick wipe-down before touching. Check them out below.

It’s important to remember that there is room for error in studies and experiments and that many airports are already revamping their cleaning to-do lists, as USA Today reported, to include automatic floor-scrubbing machines and frequent wipe-downs of kiosks.

The reason bacteria may last so long on flights is because some cleaning crews don’t get enough time to properly sanitize the cabin. In February, The New York Times interviewed a cleaning crew member who said the workers have limited time to clean the plane before more passengers hop on.

“To clean, we need 10 to 15 minutes, but they give us seven or six,” said Sameer Yousef, who at the time was a lead cabin cleaner for a team that cleaned airplanes from United. “It’s a very big pressure for us. They don’t give us more people to help.”

To make travel easier (and cleaner) for you, wash your hands frequently. If you’re really in a bind, turn to a stash of baby wipes or some hand sanitizer ― yes, TSA should allow it as long it’s in a travel-sized container that’s 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less. Happy traveling!

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