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The Trouble With Keeping Commercial Flights Clean
The Wall Street Journal ^ | Sep 17, 2014 | Scott McCartney

Posted on 09/18/2014 6:31:21 AM PDT by KeyLargo

The Middle Seat

The Trouble With Keeping Commercial Flights Clean

With the Ebola Crisis in the Background, Standards for Disinfecting Planes Vary Based on Time, Class Just how clean are airplanes? Do they really get scrubbed down after each flight? WSJ's Scott McCartney joins Tanya Rivero on Lunch Break with the answers. By Scott McCartney Updated Sept. 17, 2014

The Ebola crisis and heightened concerns about the risk of spreading disease during air travel have focused concern on what airlines do to keep planes clean.

It's a murky area without clear regulatory standards. The Federal Aviation Administration says it doesn't regulate or inspect cleaning and referred a reporter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which says it has nothing to do with aircraft cleanliness. OSHA suggested contacting the FAA. The FAA then suggested the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA says it inspects food and water safety on commercial aircraft only.

Airlines say they set their own standards without regulators and give voluminous instructions to contractors. They use chemicals approved by aircraft manufacturers and conduct their own quality-control inspections.

With more than two billion people flying every year, "commercial air transport is potentially an efficient means for spreading communicable disease widely by surface contact and proximity to infected people," the World Health Organization cautions in its Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation. Much of the risk comes from being in close contact with an infected person. But contaminated surfaces on airplanes also can spread disease.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aircraft; airliners; cdc; disease; ebola; passengers; sanitation; sickness
I have not flown commercially in ten years due to getting sick days after each flight. After reading this article, I'm reaching for my sick-sac.

1 posted on 09/18/2014 6:31:21 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: KeyLargo; neverdem; ProtectOurFreedom; Mother Abigail; EBH; vetvetdoug; Smokin' Joe; Global2010; ...
The game of Ebola Roulette continues...

*click* spin *click* spin *click* spin…

Eeeee-bolllll-aaaaaa ping!

Bring Out Your Dead

We’re gonna need

a bigger cart plane!

Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.

The purpose of the “Bring Out Your Dead” ping list (formerly the “Ebola” ping list) is very early warning of emerging pandemics, as such it has a high false positive rate.

So far the false positive rate is 100%.

At some point we may well have a high mortality pandemic, and likely as not the “Bring Out Your Dead” threads will miss the beginning entirely.

*sigh* Such is life, and death...

2 posted on 09/18/2014 6:35:11 AM PDT by null and void (Only God Himself watches you more closely than the US government.)
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To: null and void

The Airliner Cabin Environment and the Health of Passengers and Crew (2002)

“Passengers and crew themselves are the sources of several contaminants (e.g., bioeffluents, viruses, bacteria, allergens, and fungal spores) that originate in the cabin. Furthermore, structural components of the aircraft, luggage, personal articles, animals brought on board, food, and sanitation fluids can be sources of vapors or particles. Cabin surfaces can be sources of residues of cleaning compounds, pesticides, and dust. Passengers and crew have raised questions about exposure to pesticides (e.g., d-phenothrin and permethrin), because they are sprayed on selected international flights to limit the spread of insect pests, but no quantitative data are available on passenger or crew exposures to these compounds.”

3 posted on 09/18/2014 6:43:35 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: KeyLargo

I unfortunately fly frequently. I always cringe thinking about how dirty the planes really are. Luckily I’m in good health. But now with the horrid diseases ‘we’ are importing from Africa and Obama sending unscreened illegals all over the nation I am especially nervous. I’m hoping I can keep myself protected with an impermeable moat of the finest scotch that comes in 2 ounce bottles.

4 posted on 09/18/2014 6:47:36 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Organic Panic

Travel Health / Disease / In-Flight Comfort / Airplanes

The Top Ten Gross Things People Do On Airplanes

November 23, 2009 at 9:48 AM | by JetSetCD | Comments (41)

3. Tend to foot hygiene
There are foot fetishists and then there’s everyone else. Feet just aren’t the sort of thing that you want spending 8 hours a few inches away from the side of your face, especially if they’re not your own feet (doing some yoga there?). Feet can have all sorts of bacteria to rub on your armrest; we’re not just talking about passengers removing shoes for the flight. @elizabethdehoff said that she’s spotted first class passengers clipping toenails. They may have paid through the nose for their seat, but that doesn’t give them the right to gross out everyone else who paid top dollar for first class.

2. Vomit into something that is not the supplied barf bag
Thanks to @eurocheapo, we have a gross image of this in our head: “Saw someone use the plastic wrap from an airline blanket as a barf bag...didn’t really work.” What happened to the original seatback pocket barf bag? Had they already used it? Being sick in this way on a plane is the worst; but people make it embarrassing by not paying attention to vomit warning signs. Look before you blindly reach into that seatback pocket.

1. Sneeze open-mouthed/neglect to wash hands after using lavatory
This in-flight offense takes the number one spot because it happens most frequently and can affect the most passengers. Letting a big sneeze go without covering your mouth will do more than garner evil looks; your germs could sicken other passengers and coat things in your mucus for the lucky flyers on future flights. And please please please wash your hands after using the lavatory. Already we know that if someone were to put a UV light to an airplane interior, we’d be in big fluorescent trouble, but that is a PSA to think twice about being just as nasty on the plane as you are at home.

5 posted on 09/18/2014 6:51:55 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: KeyLargo

Turn time at the gate averages, maybe an hour, sometimes under 45 minutes.

This includes deplaning and boarding for the next flight. Go to a busy terminal during the day and sit at a gate area with a stopwatch and see for yourself.

How much cleaning on something the size of a 767 can be done in 20 minutes?

The aircraft do normally sit idle for 7 to 8 hours overnight, but they aren’t meticulously cleaned then, either. But they are cleaned better than during the day.

6 posted on 09/18/2014 6:52:37 AM PDT by wrench
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To: wrench

Meet the rudest, grossest airline passengers

By Sid Lipsey, Yahoo Travel

September 17, 2014 | 12:19pm

Meet the rudest, grossest airline passengers
Sitting near these passengers would be an in-flight nightmare. Photo: Instagram/Passenger Shaming

Attention, rude airline passengers who treat airplanes as their own personal lounging areas: Social media is coming for you.

Passenger Shaming on Instagram and Facebook is the latest trend in Internet shaming: It aims to shine the bright light of online justice on people whose rude, often gross airplane behavior makes the flying experience even more miserable for the rest of us.

The photos are submitted via email by anonymous flyers and flight attendants to

Judging from the pictures, there’s some weird version of a flying foot fetish going on.

The majority of pics on the site show people in bare feet — which they then put in places where they don’t belong.

Go to:

7 posted on 09/18/2014 6:58:37 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: wrench

Years ago, I was working coach (former flight attendant) and the First Class flight attendant had to deal with a passenger who decided, as the fa was serving meals, that it was a fine time to change his baby’s diaper on the fold down tray as his seatmate, understandably upset, had just begun to dine.

I have been at an international gate, waiting to board, and have seen children from South American countries deplaning with obvious chicken pox bumps not yet scabbed - contagious.

Adding to the filthy planes, the illegals being shuttled around, undocumented and not vaccinated, and you have a seething petrie dish of a plague waiting to happen

8 posted on 09/18/2014 7:03:42 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

Airlines are cutting back on many things and demanding passengers pay up. Most people do not know that the Regional Airlines pilot pay is sometimes at minimum wage.

Opinion: The Pilot Shortage Myth
Sep 18, 2014 Capt. Lee Moak | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Pilot Shortage? No, It’s a Pay Shortage

“The truth about the bogus pilot shortage is out. Increasingly desperate attempts by those who promote this fallacy are inevitably losing ground to the facts. The traveling public, lawmakers and government leaders know the reality: Rock-bottom pay and benefits offered by regional airlines are failing to attract pilots and pushing potential new ones to other professions.
Why would pilots choose to leave (or never to enter) the airline piloting profession? First-year pilots make between $14,000 and $23,000 at some of the lowest-paying airlines. Is it a surprise to anyone that this level of compensation is not attractive, particularly when many other occupations offer better starting pay and benefits along with promising career paths?”

9 posted on 09/18/2014 7:14:49 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: KeyLargo

Hard to believe so little to offer for the time, training, and responsibilities.

10 posted on 09/18/2014 7:33:05 AM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: Organic Panic

I’ll never fly again.

11 posted on 09/18/2014 7:38:14 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: KeyLargo

NEVER stick your hand in a seatback pocket.


12 posted on 09/18/2014 7:55:50 AM PDT by moovova
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To: moovova

“NEVER stick your hand in a seatback pocket.”


Harmful bacteria can linger on airplane seat-back pockets, armrests for days
May 20, 2014
American Society for Microbiology

Disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week, according to research. In order for disease-causing bacteria to be transmitted from a cabin surface to a person, it must survive the environmental conditions in the airplane. In this study, MRSA lasted longest (168 hours) on material from the seat-back pocket while E. coli O157:H7 survived longest (96 hours) on the material from the armrest.

13 posted on 09/18/2014 8:24:54 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: KeyLargo

I once flew on international flights two to three times a moth. All over the world and sometimes around it. I am so happy not to fly anymore but I do miss my adventures.

I watched the other passengers board and wondered which one was carrying the disease that would sicken or kill me. Especially when was in the terminals of West Africa and flights going or originating there.

The cabin crew would make their way down the aisles spraying disinfectant and deodorant. We laughed at the puny display and hoped that the disinfectant would work better than the deodorant because it didn’t work at all. The disinfectant could not have been very strong because you couldn’t smell it and it never bothered anyone so far as I could tell.

Used to be that your rights ended where my rights began and people knew what that meant. There is no standard and “normal” anymore. We have truly morphed fully into the 60s mode of anything goes and if it feels good do it no matter what the consequences to you or anyone else.

14 posted on 09/18/2014 8:39:41 AM PDT by Sequoyah101 (I)
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To: 2ndreconmarine; Fitzcarraldo; Covenantor; Mother Abigail; EBH; Dog Gone; ...

A link to this thread has been posted on the Ebola Surveillance Thread because the topic may be of interest.

15 posted on 09/18/2014 10:12:50 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: TheOldLady; Organic Panic
"I’ll never fly again."

That's my intention also.

16 posted on 09/18/2014 10:43:23 AM PDT by blam (Jeff Sessions For President)
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

Witnessed a woman changing baby’s diaper on the floor at the front galley, while fa was trying to serve 1st Class. Said there wasn’t enough room in the lav.

17 posted on 09/18/2014 11:05:20 AM PDT by NautiNurse (Obama sends U.S. Marines to pick up his dog & basketballs. Benghazi? Nope.)
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To: blam


18 posted on 09/18/2014 11:31:38 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Smokin' Joe

Thanks for the ping!

19 posted on 09/18/2014 8:00:09 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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