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How to Avoid Germs on Fully Booked Flights

For the anxious traveler, here are expert tips on how to be safe during your flight.

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Are you uneasy about taking a flight soon? Do you want to keep yourself safe from germs but not sure how? Look no further, as we spoke to the experts to get all the answers you need. For people who need to travel via plane soon to people who’re just looking to learn more about post-pandemic travel, here is how to avoid germs on fully booked flights.

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Wear a mask

One of the first things the CDC recommends to keep yourself safe from the coronavirus is face masks. Therefore, it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to keep safe from germs on a flight is to wear a mask. “Masks are not the most comfortable trend but they are great to protect others and ourselves in crowded places,” says Ilse Dumont,  cofounder of Culinary Ambition.

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Choose a window seat

Turns out, the benefits of a window seat do not end at a good view. “Consider booking a window seat as a traveler, this way you avoid passengers walking past you in the aisle during boarding,” says Alex Miller, Founder & CEO of

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Choose where you sit well

Traveling during the coronavirus means you have to get strategic about where you pick your seat. “Some aircraft, depending on the design, have rows with fewer seats in economy class. Choosing these seats will allow you to sit in an area with fewer people. Usually, these seats are located in the exit rows,” says Miller. “On aircraft with premium cabins, there are fewer people in those sections due to their being fewer seats. If you want to be around fewer people, this is the area to sit.”

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Sit towards the front of the aircraft

According to Miller, booking a seat towards the front of the aircraft can help you get off the plane faster and be around people less. Here’s what travel could look like after coronavirus.

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Don’t be in a hurry to board

“When possible, board last so you’re spending less time on the plane while other passengers pass you by,” says Miller. Check out this writer’s experience flying from Mexico to the United States during the pandemic.

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Avoid touching certain items

If you have a recent flight coming up, you might want to keep your hands to yourself.  Seat belts, inflight entertainment, recline buttons, armrests, inflight service items such as cups and food, and tray tables are things to avoid touching during your flight, according to Miller.

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Make sure to disinfect certain areas

According to Miller, the key areas to disinfect on a plane are tray tables, seat belts, and armrests with recline buttons. “It’s really unnecessary to disinfect seats themselves since you’ll be wearing clothing and this separates you from touching any surfaces,” says Miller. Of course, being able to fly does not mean you can visit these 31 countries.

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Consider the time of your flight

In terms of flight hygiene, the early bird gets the worm. “Flying on the first flight of the day will be the cleanest since airlines tend to clean aircraft first thing in the morning, and the plane will have sat overnight, allowing the virus to dissipate overnight,” says Miller. “Different airlines have different cleaning procedures, but in general it’s safer to board a flight in a hub city since airlines have capability to clean aircraft in those cities more than outstations.”

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Be careful when boarding the plane

The tip for not touching anything unnecessary applies to when boarding the plane as well.  “Try not to touch any of the walls no matter which part of the plane you are in so you won’t accidentally get into contact with the virus or any germ or bacteria, especially those left by unknowing carriers,” says Miller. Check out these photos that show the new normal of air travel.

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Be cautious when you have to touch certain things

“If there’s no helping it, and you have to touch the handle or knob of a door or compartment, either ask a nearby flight attendant for help or use disposable tissue paper when opening them. Just make sure to dispose of them properly afterward, and not accidentally use them on your face,” says Willie Greer, founder of The Product Analyst.

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Avoid bringing too much luggage

“The more you bring the more you have to store in the overhead lockers. That means that other people have the chance to touch your belongings,” says Dumont. “Packing light will avoid this.”