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It’s true that airplanes can get pretty gross, but have you ever wondered which part of the cabin is the yuckiest of them all? It’s not the bathroom, but rather, the seat pocket in front of you.
According to flight attendants, the pockets are stuffed with trash whose germs are left behind. While cleanup crews will come in to wipe other areas of the cabin, they will only clear out the pockets and not actually disinfect them.
“You never, ever, ever, EVER use or put anything in the seat pocket” a flight attendant advised in a Reddit thread about travel tips. “I have pulled out and seen all sorts [of things] pulled out from there. Dirty tissues, sick bags, knickers, socks, people’s feet, gum, half-sucked sweets, apple cores.”
In addition, the seat pockets are so unhygienic that these areas have even tested positive for aerobic bacteria, mold, coliforms, and E. coli, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as reported by Escape.
The video from TikTok account @attn also noted that the dirtiest seat in the entire plane is the middle one, as parents tend to sit their child between them. So, expect these seats to have a history of drool, vomit, pee, and poop.
If you must use the pocket or the middle seat (or the food tray, arm rest, or seat belt, for that matter), wipe everything down first with anti-bacterial wipes. Then, for the pocket, stash your belongings inside a plastic bag for an added layer of protection.
Have a safe (and germ-free) flight!