A group of flight attendants as well as investigations by the EPA have exposed shocking revelations regarding the health dangers in the skies courtesy of most major airlines. The information should make you think twice before having that cup of coffee, using their pillows, headsets or even washing your hands in the lavatory.
1. Don’t Consume Any Water That Did Not Come From a Bottle
Whatever you do, do not drink the water in the lav. They sanitize the water tank at selected maintenance intervals, however parasites build tolerances to the cleaners. And that thunderous volcanic toilet flush doesn’t exactly help the situation, spraying water and releasing potential germs into the air every which way. The CDC cited the lavatory as a major danger area for the spread of disease during epidemics. Use a paper towel to close the toilet lid before flushing — and then leave without washing your hands. You’ll come away cleaner if you skip the sink and reach for healthy hand sanitizer instead.
Do not EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don’t even TOUCH IT. The hoses that supply the airplanes water is filled with slime. The ports to purge lavatory feces and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same person. A random sampling of 327 unnamed domestic and international aircraft caused a stir in 2004 when some water samples tested positive for E. coli, one strain of which is the leading cause of food poisoning.
2. Don’t Consume Coffee or Tea
Much like the drinking water, that used for making coffee, tea, etc., should NEVER be consumed. The holding tanks in these sometimes 60 year old planes are never cleaned. They have accumulated so much greenish grime on the walls that in some places it can be inches thick. This one is very known by all airline employees.
3. Filthy Seat Pockets
Reaching into that pocket is akin to putting your hand in someone else’s purse and rummaging among their used tissues and gum wrappers.
Toenail clippings and mushy old French fries are even nastier surprises that have been found in seat pockets. Consider that cold and influenza viruses can survive for hours on fabric and tissues, and even longer (up to 48 hours) on nonporous surfaces like plastic and metal — and you realize that you might pick up more than that glossy flight magazine when you reach inside.
Bring a small, easily accessible carry-on bag so that you can avoid stashing things in the seat pocket. If you must use it, keep magazines and other items within a plastic bag for protection.
4. Airplane Meals Are a Threat To Your Health
In-flight meals have long had a bad reputation for consisting of bland, barely identifiable dishes. Then, in 2009, the meals made headlines when FDA inspections of the Denver location of LSG Sky Chefs — the world’s largest airplane caterer with clients including American Airlines, Delta and United — found the kitchens crawling with roaches too numerous to count and employees handling the food with bare hands or unwashed gloves…