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Are You Sure You Want the Window Seat?

Are You Sure You Want the Window Seat?
Jennifer Billock

On your next flight, make sure to pick your seat carefully; a test by an undercover passenger revealed that headrests on plane seats get dirtier the closer you get to the window seat — a video shared by the passenger shows just how dirty the headrests and seats can be, and what they might be dirty with.

Sorry, window seat devotees—it turns out that seat is the most disgusting of every option on the plane. One passenger recently went undercover on a flight to make a video showing just how dirty each plane seat can be.

The viral video shows a woman wiping down every headrest in her row with alcohol wipes to see just how dirty they get. The aisle seat fared the best, then the middle seat, then the window seat, which produced an alcohol wipe riddled with black dirt marks, news.com.au reported. And that was only after rubbing the headrest with the alcohol wipe for all of eight seconds.

According to the video, it’s possible the aisle seat is the cleanest because it’s the easiest to get to when cabin crew are cleaning each seat. Previous studies confirmed the filth haunting airplane seats; a company called Marketplace did one and showed the headrest is not only the dirtiest spot, but also had E. coli on it—which means the dirt most likely came from fecal matter. In addition to the headrest, Marketplace also tested the seatbelt, tray table, seat pocket, and bathroom handle, all of which were cleaner than where we rest our heads on a flight.

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. weero

    weero

    September 4, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Lessened learned: don’t eat the headrest, especially not those that are cleaned even less.

  2. klevin99

    September 4, 2019 at 5:14 am

    As if any of this matters! We’re surrounded by microbes, many of them pathogens. Our own guts have E. Coli. None of this matters, since our bodies have evolved to handle it. Indeed, many of the microbes on our skin and in our bowels are beneficial.

    Why such alarmist slop gets published here is beyond me, except as click-bait.

  3. mhead110

    September 4, 2019 at 6:16 am

    Ah, interesting. The things one hasn’t thought about. One could bring one’s own alcohol wipe.

    Re e. coli contamination: fecal-oral-transmission is very common, probably the most common cause of “food poisoning” — that’s why we are told to wash our hands after using the toilet.

    Also, our world is loaded with bacteria, and most of it is not harmful and often downright helpful.

    I once took a microbiology course; one of the exercises had one partner scrubbing hands for a full minute with anti-bacterial hand soap, then the partner rinsed the hand-washer’s hands with distilled water for– perhaps 30, perhaps 60 seconds. THEN the hands were rubbed together over a petri dish and the results cultivated in agar– MULTIPLE bacterial colonies formed. So you can’t really get rid of them, but you reduce the numbers, and the likelihood of transmission.

    Mostly, our immune systems, and other bodily defenses, are brilliant at dealing with small numbers of bacteria– it’s when the numbers get large that our defenses get overwhelmed. I was astonished, when we cultivated our saliva, to see in mine some pneumonia bacteria, along with a host of others.

    As I recall, e. coli doubling time is 20 min. So it doesn’t take long for a few to grow into very many, and be a problem.
    Those with compromised immune systems have to be more careful

  4. Danwriter

    September 4, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Stick a million people a week, 250 at a time, into tight metal tubes and you’re expecting a sanitary outcome?

  5. psusaver

    September 4, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Be conscious of touching your face etc with your hands while in the plane. Use disposable warm /wet wipes etc
    It’s simpler to give yourself a full scrub-down shower after any airline flight, rather than worrying about which seat is cleaner or dirtier.
    Sometimes the view from the window is pretty enough and you can tolerate some ‘dirt’ – which is present all over earth.

  6. Gizzabreak

    September 4, 2019 at 9:05 am

    “Are you sure you want the window seat” … or would you prefer the isle seat? The one where all the shorties … with various species’ urine and faeces residues unwittingly on the soles of their shoes … stand on the seat cushion to place their cabin bag/s in the overhead locker. Yum yum.

  7. alexmyboy

    September 5, 2019 at 5:16 am

    we wipe down our area with disposable wipes

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