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Your Airline Blanket Might Not Have Been Cleaned in A Month

Your Airline Blanket Might Not Have Been Cleaned in A Month
Jennifer Billock

Don’t be tricked by plastic wrapping over your airline blanket—it’s likely that the fabric you’re wrapping yourself in hasn’t actually been cleaned for anywhere between five days to an entire month; most airlines apparently just pick them up, fold them, and stuff them right back into the plastic bags.

Oh, Reddit. The things people uncover on the internet data trove can be downright terrifying. Like this nugget of information about blankets on airlines: they’re hardly ever washed.

“I worked for Southwest as a flight attendant,” Reddit user mehow44 posted, reported by Travel + Leisure. “Those blankets and pillows? Yeah, those just get refolded and stuffed back in the bins between flights. Only fresh ones I ever saw were on an originating first flight in the morning in a provisioning city. Also, if you have ever spread your peanuts on your tray and eaten, or really just touched your tray at all, you have more than likely ingested baby poo. I saw more dirty diapers laid out on those trays than food. And those trays, yeah, never saw them cleaned or sanitized once.”

You might just brush it off as Reddit hearsay, but flight attendant and blogger Sara Keagle confirmed it. She told Travel + Leisure that the blankets are only fresh for the first flight of the day; otherwise they’re just refolded and used again. The tray tables, too, only get cleaned once a day.

The plastic bags over the blankets don’t make a bit of a difference, either—some airlines are just repackaging them without cleaning. The Washington Post, in fact, published a report showing that they’re only washed once every five days to once every month.

And we’ll never forget the time comedienne Nicole Byer found baby poop in her in-flight blanket. It’s enough to make you want to bring your own.


[Photo: Flickr/Delta News Hub]

View Comments (5)


  1. JNLentertainment

    February 5, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    That wont happen in sq,cx,jal, etc..

  2. hipquest

    February 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    More reason to take (steal) airline blankets. I MIGHT actually return it washed.

  3. Moyerclan

    February 6, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Makes me wonder about the Delta One fancy pillow/blanket situation? Do they get cleaned any more?

  4. hfly

    February 7, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    A month? It could BE YEARS. Someone could go and find the thread from years ago, but someone posted the internal BA rules which basically said that blankets were laundered only when “Visibly soiled”. Blankets are brought to a prison near heathrow where prison workers just fold and seal them in plastic bags. This is pretty standard in the industry, including SQ, etc which JNL think are much different.

  5. jashsu

    February 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Ignorance is bliss…

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