Question – are you worried about “bugs” on Delta flights? Delta is!

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My wife, for years, never watched the TV show “Monk” with Tony Shalhoub. She, who is more than a little OCD, said she was afraid it would “give her too many ideas” (she now vacuums the ceilings – who knew – I guess we do need that)!

Anyway, and maybe you will “thank me later”, I have become a much better person due to my wife’s neat habits and I do agree I still need to work on a few things. But one thing I need no help with is being a bit paranoid when it comes to flying. Not about the airplane staying in the air as I totally get that once you are on the plane, that is the safest part of your trip! But like an old WW2 submarine, we are in a seat so fast that the “sweat” from the dude before us is still on the seat. Then I found this article from Science daily talking about just this topic. A quote from it says:

“Researchers know that bacteria and viruses can be transmitted in three ways on aircraft: inhalation of small droplets coughed or sneezed by infected persons and carried significant distances in cabin air; inhalation of larger droplets that tend to fall within a meter of their sources, and transfer of droplets from surfaces into the eyes or noses of susceptible individuals. The latter — which may account for as much as 80 percent of the disease transmission — can occur when passengers touch contaminated surfaces, such as seat tray tables, lavatory door knobs or sink handles.”


Haven’t you ever felt the “breeze” from someone behind you coughing or sneezing without covering their mouth? Ever wanted to see what that looks like in slow motion? (don’t watch if you don’t want to know)!

You know you wanted to go take a shower right then and there, but who knew it was really more dangerous to simply touch the tray table?! I have always been a bit grossed out and wipe down stuff on seats I get into but this is just, eeewwwwe ick eewwwwe (shudder – shake – yuck). We all know the multiple uses for tray tables – diaper changing table, shoe rack, infant drool pad…

So, like Tamara said last Friday make sure you pack your hand sanitizer and wipes in your carry on and once you get through security hold it close! It may save you a few miserable days of suffering from germs obtained in-flight! – René


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  1. After I got sick coming back from Kuwait a couple years back, I started packing wipes and wiping my seat area down. I’m easily grossed out by things, and I have more then a number of times upset flight attendants and fellow passengers by wiping down my seat, tray and the back of the seat in front of me. I’ve also heard more then once that it’s a good idea and handed a wipe to someone.

  2. Delta question, if I book an Alaska codeshare flight on (Alaska metal), will Alaska recognize my medallion benefits including upgrade? If I do choose this flight, I will be booking a fully refundable Y fare.

  3. Rene,

    I am a tad bit OCD. When a volume is changed it must be on an even number or I have to finish a set of stairs (whether it’s up or down) on my right foot. That’s the extent of my OCD until I started flying fairly frequently.

    Now I must have handwipes and if I am lucky enough to sit in F, I don’t use the handtowels for my hands. It gets used as a wipe down rag for the seat and tray table.

    But what absolutely astonishes me is the simple fact that people don’t wear shoes when they use the bathroom or walk around the aircraft, especially during lengthy flights.

    I also had the (dis)pleasure of watching someone vomit in the back galley because instead of using their bag in the seat (after a bit of solid turbulence) they decided that they would run back and use one of the lavs. Well, they were both in use and the guy couldn’t hold it any more. The f/as used whatever they could to “mop” up the mess and a few hours later, I walked back on one of my various laps around the aircraft only to watch some random guy doing yoga directly on the floor, with no mat or cover of any kind.

    I spoke with the F/A and they tried numerous times to tell him but he wouldn’t have any of it.

    It blows my mind how filthy people are and yet it doesn’t bother them one bit. Some people are in denial, saying they are clean. I tell them to pull the cover off their pillow and tell me how clean they are.

    Emergen-c and airborne before you fly seems a bit cliche, but to this day, I have never been sick after flying all these years. And this includes sitting next to people who are visibly sick (stuffy nose, severe coughing, even flu-like symptoms).

  4. I fly all the time but I never bother doing anymore than washing my hands after using the restroom. I don’t carry wipes or hand sanitizer of any kind, and I’ve never once gotten sick after traveling. I think the paranoia over tray tables, etc. is mostly driven by sensationalist news media.

  5. Not wearing shoes and walking around on the plane is just gross.

    I’m a big fan of Emergen-C because I don’t do fake sugars. I think airborne has aspartame.

    Amazingly some of the dirtiest people around manage not to get sick, like ever. Maybe it’s because of all the exposure. Who knows.

    In the end, I’ll take the middle ground. I don’t wipe stuff down, but I’m careful about what I touch, and I ALWAYS take my vitamins when I travel.

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