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This Gives New Meaning to the Term “Gate Lice”: Priority Boarding May Be Better for Your Health

This Gives New Meaning to the Term “Gate Lice”: Priority Boarding May Be Better for Your Health

 

Priority boarding might be good for your health.

A study by Arizona State University and reported by the Los Angeles Times has found that current plane boarding practices are an excellent way to get sick.

According to the study, infection rates increase when people are crowded together, as when participating in general boarding practices. As an example, should there be an Ebola outbreak in location, then current general boarding practices would increase the risk of getting the disease from an airline by 67%.

The study also has some suggestions, saying that passengers are less likely to get sick when they take part in staggered boarding to avoid congestion.

In the case of an Ebola outbreak, Anuj Mubayi, an assistant professor at ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change who worked on the study advices that rather than totally banning flights to a destination, the risk of infection could be better reduced by using smaller planes.

 

Because de-boarding is a faster process, it presents very little risk of incurring disease.

The study’s leaders have presented their findings to airlines, which can be used not only for Ebola outbreaks, but also other contagious diseases like the flu. They hope to also use their findings to help stop the spread in other crowded environments like airports, shopping centers, school campuses and other gathering points of modern life.

In the meantime, until the airlines take notice of disease control, maybe try to stop crowding on too tightly or avoid general boarding altogether.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (14)

14 Comments

  1. IBobi

    IBobi

    October 11, 2017 at 9:22 am

    …ebola?

  2. IBobi

    IBobi

    October 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    “The Hot Zone is for loading and unloading only. There is no parking in the Hot Zone.”

  3. LGB Flyer

    October 11, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    LATimes article says: “the current boarding practice used by most airlines would lead to a 67% chance of 20 air-travel-related cases a month.” whatever that means.

    This article’s author says: “current general boarding practices would increase the risk of getting the disease from an airline by 67%.”

    Not the same thing.

  4. cheltzel

    October 12, 2017 at 3:08 am

    How did they control for the fact that most if not all of the passengers with low boarding priority also fly in coach? Does the increase in disease risk come from participating in the boarding scrum or from the 8 – 14 hours flight in a 9 abreast or 10 abreast coach cabin?

  5. jyavenard

    October 12, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Of course, because once you’re in the plane it’s not going to be crowded whatsoever and any diseases you could have got while boarding will no longer matter once you enter the plane’s cabin.

    what a bunch of crocks…

  6. arcticflier

    October 12, 2017 at 4:05 am

    So standing in line waiting to board increases the risk of contaimination by airborne pathogens; however sitting in a very crowded aircraft for several hours does not?

    Good to know.

    What about the practice of each passenger holding their boarding pass in their hand for several minutes and then handing it to the gate agent and that same gate agent handling 100’s of these boarding passes and returning th to the passengers?

  7. deelmakur

    October 12, 2017 at 4:15 am

    I’d be more concerned with onboard beverages. Since F/A’s have become de facto cleaners, the same hands that put ice in your cup also pick up all forms of refuse. You just hope they changed gloves.

  8. starspookster

    October 12, 2017 at 4:20 am

    The same bacteria laden gate lice will be sitting on the aircraft generously spreading their germs in recirculated air. Not really sure of the difference between ingesting germs at the gate and sitting on the plane – other than the latter is probably more comfortable.

  9. iTradeShips

    October 12, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Yeah, because there is no risk in being stuck in the confined space of an airplane cabin for a 6 to 13 hour long haul flight where people use the lavatories and the airline is recirculating cabin air, but make sure you are careful during boarding!?!

  10. sensia

    October 12, 2017 at 4:46 am

    What a flawed logic. After priority boarding to avoid every infectious disease, everyone will be thrown into a chamber alternatively called “cabin”.

  11. rangerc79

    October 12, 2017 at 5:12 am

    “A study by Arizona State University and reported by the Los Angeles Times has found that current plane boarding practices are an excellent way to get sick.”

    Let me get this straight, did ASU got some kind of payment from airline company for doing study like this….what I’m trying to say is….are ASU allegedly getting kick back from airline company for doing this study or saying stuff like this…….

    I know standing around crowded people are very likely to get sick if just one person is sick….you don’t need to be rocket scientist to figure that out…….But here is a kicker in this article….”Priority Boarding May Be Better for Your Health”. Please i wasn’t born yesterday, we all know priority boarding is better, and it also cost $$$ depending on the airline.

    So, let me ask you this then, is any of you (ASU or Flyertalk) is getting some sort of kick back from airline for say this……

  12. kale73

    kale73

    October 12, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Wouldn’t sitting cheek-to-cheek in a closed metal tube for several hours pose an even greater risk of infection?

  13. Bear4Asian

    October 12, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Well. If you stand that close to people you might get lice. 😇

  14. FlyingUnderTheRadar

    October 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I fear standing in the TSA gauntlet more than any other aspect of the airport.

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