Flight attendants’ insider secrets – including part of plane you shouldn’t touch

Airlines have upped their hygiene measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

But as planes are turned around quickly in between short haul flights, it’s likely some areas will still be grubby.

Over the years, flight attendants have warned about the perils of touching dirty surfaces in communal areas.

In an Ask Reddit forum, a cabin crew member urged people to think twice before putting their hands on tray tables or seat pockets.

They wrote: “If you're flying short haul, definitely bring antibac wipes or sanitiser.

“A lot of airlines will have the crew 'turnaround' the plane meaning they pick up your rubbish, fold your seatbelt over, file your magazines in the seat pocket and then welcome new passengers on board.”

They added: “I have lost count of the amount of times I have had to tell people how disgusting it is to change their baby on the tray table or in a seat.”

If that wasn’t enough to make you feel queasy, the flight attendant recalled gross items they’d pulled out of holidaymaker’s seats.

They said: “I ALWAYS recommend you never, ever, ever, EVER use or put anything in the seat pocket.

“They are cleared of rubbish but are never 'cleaned'. I have pulled out and seen all sorts been pulled out from there.

“Dirty tissues, sick bags, knickers, socks, people's feet, gum, half sucked sweets, apple cores… and then next flight you go and put your phone/laptop/iPad in there.”

Another cabin crew member recalled: “Re: seat pockets- they're THE GROSSEST.

“Once I was working the third flight of the day and kept noticing a barf smell mid-cabin.

“Everyone seemed fine so I chalked it up to a gross passenger or something.

“Midway through the flight the call button went off in the vicinity of the stink – a passenger had put her book in the seat pocket and pulled it out an hour or so later to discover it was covered in puke.

“Someone had yakked directly in the pocket on an earlier flight that day and just left it to be found by a future passenger.

“I had to put on rubber gloves and scoop the barf out by hand. It was awful.”

And a third expert agreed: “I cleaned planes for a month and a half.

“Yep, seat pockets are always f***ing gross.”

Suddenly, we don't feel so bad about not being able to go on holiday…

But how can you keep yourself feeling clean next time you fly?

We’d recommend lots of anti-bac, regular hand washing and avoiding common touch points where possible.

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