6 ways to avoid getting sick on your next long-haul plane flight

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to catch a stomach bug, a communicable disease like the measles or a flu when you’re on a long-haul flight. Planes are definitely not as clean as they used to be – cleaners are given increasingly less and less time to sanitise planes between flights, and budget airlines in particular make it financially painful to change your flight if you’re sick at the last minute, so more sick people are flying. What can we do to drastically decrease our chances of catching a disease when we fly to our summer holiday destination? Here’s a wrap-up of the best hacks:

  1. Use the air vent to direct “fresh” air into your breathing space during the flight

2. If you discover that the passenger sitting next to you has a cold or a virus, ask the flight attendant if you can change seats. There is nearly always a spare seat if you insist strongly enough.

3. Wipe down the tray, arm rests, control knobs and seatbelt with disinfecting wet wipes as soon as you sit down.

4. Where possible, choose an earlier flight – planes tend to be given deep-cleans over-night, so first thing in the morning they are probably cleaner than they are by the end of a busy day.

5. Avoid toughing your face as much as possible – hand-to-face contact is a sure-fire way to get diseases into your bloodstream

6. Don’t drink alcohol before or during your flight, as it decreases the efficacy of your immune system

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