The germiest areas on a plane revealed

Tray tables and seat pockets are hot spots for bacteria. Photo / iStock
Tray tables and seat pockets are hot spots for bacteria. Photo / iStock

If you're flying any time soon, you might want to pack the disinfectant wipes.

A recent study by Drexel Medicine has revealed the most common places for germs to lurk on a commercial aircraft.

It found that most of the dirtiest areas on board are actually right in front of you - with the seat pocket and tray table being particularly suspect areas.

Seat pockets were often used to store all sorts of unsanitary items, from used tissues to fingernail clippings and dirty nappies. Drexel recommended avoiding them completely, as it's "simply not worth the risk".

Tray tables were also not used simply to serve food on, with flight attendants reporting seeing people use them to change babies' nappies on.

It was recommended that travellers use disinfectant wipes on the tray tables at the beginning of a flight and avoid eating directly off the surface.

Unsurprisingly, aircraft bathrooms also made the list, due to frequent use and infrequent cleaning. Again, Drexel recommended the use of disinfectant wipes, as well as using paper towels to touch the faucet and toilet seat lid. It also said it was best to close the toilet lid before flushing, to prevent the spread of germs.

Before getting cozy under a blanket provided by an airline, remember how many other passengers have been drooling in their sleep. Blankets and pillows are often reused flight after flight, making them a breeding ground for bacteria.

Finally, it seems not even in-flight entertainment is safe. It's all in the name - touch screens have been touched by everyone else who sat in your seat and who knows where their hands have been. The same goes for the in-flight magazine stuffed in that germ-ridden seat pocket.

It's recommended that you bring your own entertainment, be it a book, iPad or laptop, but if you can't resist those in-flight movies, it's time to bring out the wipes again.

- NZ Herald

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