Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Filthy Flights: What About Air Travel Cleanliness?
Filthy Flights: What About Air Travel Cleanliness? PDF Print E-mail

Q: A friend and her husband recently returned from an overseas flight with severe colds and infected sores. He had to spend time in the hospital. How can we vulnerable senior travelers avoid these problems? CPL, Cleveland OH

A: In two words: It happens. Crowded airports and passenger areas on planes are constantly full of people of all ages and backgrounds. Many bring colds and other problems. The only way to at least try to avoid infection is to practice personal cleanliness. For your flights, bring packs of medicated wet wipes. Before you sit down, clean off the seat, back, video screen, control knobs and trays. Before using the toilet, wipe the seat, sink, spigots, door knob and other areas you touch.

If your seatmate or another nearby adult or child passenger is sneezing or otherwise obviously sick, ask the attendant to move you to another area. Of course, even after all precautions, you can never totally escape exposure to germs. They’re in the airport and in the aircraft cabin, all brought there by current and past passengers.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.