I fly alot. Not as much as some colleagues of mine, but I do fly quite a bit. I like to travel.
I also like to get deplane each flight in good health, rested and ready for the work of the day. I don’t like getting off of a plane sick, stuffy, sneezing and with additional bacteria or viruses floating around in my nasal cavities or my lungs.
One thing I can’t stand, is when I’m on a flight, of any length, and people just decide to kick off their shoes, stretch out their feet, scrape and scratch them on the armrest in front of them, rub them back and forth on the carpet below your seat or worse… take their socks off and walk up and down the aisle like this.
Seriously, STOP! Leave your shoes and socks on, when you fly!
There is some good evidence that shows what happens when you take your shoes off, cough, sneeze and other things within the confined airspace of an airplane. You and 247 of your closest friends, for multiple hours of confined air, at a time.
It’s not just the air either.
When you’re on a flight and you add the stress of pressure changes on the human body, bad or expired food, and the dehydrating effects of the climate control system, your body can really be compromised. Also, your body can’t digest as well at higher altitudes, so that nice “gourmet” meal isn’t going to get absorbed until you land..
Let’s also not forget that you’re getting ten times LESS air than the pilots get. You can ask the flight attendants to provide you with more fresh air and less recirculated air, if it bothers you.
No new air enters the cabin from the time you leave the runway until the time you enter your destination terminal. If you’re on a 15-hour flight to Australia (as I was recently), that air in the plane is the same air that was in it when you took off from the runway. Lovely.
Did you also know that First Class passengers receive 3 times more air than Economy (“cattle class”) passengers? Is the increased cost worth the extra, clean air? Maybe. You can read all about this and more online on the The Airliner Cabin Environment and the Health of Passengers and Crew book. Some shocking revelations in there.
There’s quite a bit of information on airline and airplane air quality… all without even having the added feature of people’s Athlete’s Foot being scraped off onto the rug and ground in as people track it up and down the aisles.
Airplanes in general, are horribly disgusting and dirty. Did you know that airlines do NOT change or clean the blankets between flights? That’s right.. the blanket you were just sleeping on for 4 hours, is the same one the obese person was drooling on during the last flight, folded back up nicely and put in its plastic bag so you are none the wiser.
The next time I see people with their shoes off on a plane, I’m going to either step on their feet, or spill soda or juice on their socks. I’m getting tired of the health issues as a result of fat, obese, lazy people who insist that the airplane is their livingroom lounge chair.