The pandemic has made many people more conscious of the cleanliness of all parts of transportation. Even though airplanes are equipped with HEPA filters that remove 99.7 percent of germs, and airline carriers were forced to adopt more enhanced cleaning practices, many flight attendants have taken to social media to say you still shouldn’t trust that planes are adequately cleaned. Whether it’s the trash can in the bathroom or laying your head on the window to get some rest, there are some parts of the plane that are less than squeaky clean. Cici, a flight attendant who goes by @ciciintheair on TikTok, recently brought attention to two other grimy places you should think twice about.
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The tray table is a germ hotspot, according to Cici. So the next time you get one of those antibacterial wipes as you board, take advantage and wipe it down. You never know how much the cleaning crew actually got to that particular part of the seat. And speaking of food and drinks, Cici echos other flight attendants in her advice to skip the in-flight coffee and tea. It’s easy to understand why — one study found E. Coli in airplane water.
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The other part of the seat Cici advises to avoid is one you might not have thought about: the seatback pocket. In 2018 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation took more than 100 samples from 18 different flights from carriers Air Canada, WestJet, and Porter between Ottawa and Montreal, according to Insider. The results found that one of the dirtiest places on a plane is the seatback pocket, with samples containing aerobic bacteria, mold, coliforms, and E.coli. A flight attendant on Reddit said she’d found dirty tissues, sick bags, underwear, socks, and half-eaten food. Next time, skip the pocket. You’re better off leaving your items in your carry-on bag.