Dirty, Filthy, Nasty & Unclean Airplanes

I’m far from having some kind of germ phobia, but something should be done about the nasty little surprises found on planes – I agree. Ever reach into the seat-back pocket in front of you to find some kind of sticky, gooey, unwanted souvenir waiting for you? Yeah, it’s gross. It has happened to me, but not only that I’ve gotten on flights where crumbs were left on my seat by the previous passenger. Eww… What was it? Granola? Possibly some type of hardened baby upchuck? Did I really want to know? Due to the time restraints between booting off the previous passengers and boarding the new passengers they weren’t able to clean the plane and the crew offered their deepest apologies while all the new passengers (including myself) tried their best to tidy their seats for the next few hours.

This NY Times Business piece highlights just how bad the situation has gotten. The major problem: widespread layoffs in the airline industry. There are fewer cleanup folks waiting at the gate and rushed cleanup jobs. Another huge problem is said to be the invitation of food from the outside, often creating piles of wrappers, empty containers and some leftovers behind and on board. Easily, it would help if every passenger made a mental note to hand their garbage to a flight attendant when they come around smiling with trash bags in hand and no, trash should not be left in the overhead compartment as pictured here, but even then should people feel guilty for bringing food on planes? Is the blame being passed here? I mean, most airlines offer nothing more than honey-roasted peanuts for a four hour flight!

Another point made in the article that really brings it home is about Delta’s deep cleaning schedule. Jetliner deep-cleaning (brushing, scrubbing, vacuuming), much like a car deep-cleaning and should be scheduled every 30 days. According to their article here, Delta let theirs slide to 15 to 18 months. Double eww! The story goes on to say that these days Delta is working hard to clean up their act. My suggestion: you read the entire piece for yourself. Delta may have a pretty bad rep, but I’d say all airlines need to watch it and do something about the tidiness of their aircraft. In the meantime I guess we’ll have to pack our own Febreeze and Lysol in tiny plastic bags if we want to make sure it’s semi-clean.

Have a filthy airline story? Please, share it…