How Clean Is Your Airplane Seat?
Do airlines clean airplane seats?
In-between flights, the airline staff will quickly pick up any debris in the aisles, seat pockets, and overhead bins.
They will also wipe down any fluids or stains in the common areas.
Airlines don’t exactly publish how often they deep clean the interior cabin. But you can anticipate it’s every one month to three months. These cleanings usually happen overnight or during scheduled maintenance.
Most carriers schedule a more thorough scrub, when crews wipe down seats and tray tables with disinfectants, for when a plane overnights at an airport.
For overnight cleanings, the staff will wipe down the trays, seats, air vents, and other hard surfaces within the cabin. While you don’t know when the airline will do this, your best chance of flying on a clean plane is by getting an early morning flight.
The first-thing-in-the-morning flights are inherently cleaner than the evening’s last departures.
Carriers also schedule “deep cleans” every month or so to launder seat covers and shampoo the carpets — but those are harder to predict (maybe you’ll know them when you smell them).
Airplane seatback trays are the dirtiest place on the airplane.
Think about how many people walking up and down the aisle place their hands on each headrest to maintain their balance.
This isn’t just a nuisance if you’re sitting in the aisle seat and appreciate your personal space.
And regardless of where you sit, you’re essentially touching the same place as many others before you.
You should treat an airplane like any public place. Practicing good hygiene habits can limit your exposure to germs.
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Inside Edition swabbed and collected samples on four flights and sent the samples to a lab for testing. The results were disturbing: The bacteria count on the headrest and seat belt of Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero was in the billions.