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Flight attendant explains why you should always wear a mask when using plane toilet

Katherine Sidnell

Published 
| Last updated 

Flight attendant explains why you should always wear a mask when using plane toilet

Featured Image Credit: Yaroslav Astakhov / Khairil Azhar Junos / Alamy Stock Photo

After a two-year hiatus over the pandemic, most of us will be wanting to get away this summer but, according to one flight attendant, it’s best to still mask up while on board.

Despite it not being mandatory anymore, the former steward said it’s still a good idea to carry a face covering – especially if you plan on visiting the loo.

A flight attendant has revealed just how dirty planes can be. Credit: umar Sriskandan / Alamy Stock Photo
A flight attendant has revealed just how dirty planes can be. Credit: umar Sriskandan / Alamy Stock Photo

Though some might have dreamt of joining the mile-high club, it turns out the toilet is the dirtiest place on the plane (literally!).

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According to the attendant, it is best to avoid spending a penny whilst on a plane as the bathroom is a breeding ground for endless bacteria.

“The airplane loo is essentially a cupboard, with no clean air. There is no window and the air ventilation is poor,” they said to The Sun U.S.

According to the attendant, this means that every time you go to the loo, you could be breathing in the air of many others who have ‘done their business’ before you.

"You could also be breathing in potential faeces particles, circulating [in] the air after a toilet flush,” they said.

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Scientists call this effect the ‘toilet plume’, with contaminated particles possibly spreading over a three-meters after every flush.

Because of this, the attendant recommends wearing a mask while nipping to the loo.

For those catching some summer sun though, there are a few things you can do to improve inflight hygiene.

Wearing a mask is important, especially on long haul flights. Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy Stock Photo
Wearing a mask is important, especially on long haul flights. Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy Stock Photo
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Firstly, you can reduce the time spent in facilities as this will lessen your exposure to any possible bacteria or viruses.

Studies have also found that most public toilets are also sometimes contaminated with vomit and mould spores so if you are answering the call of nature, make it quick.

The attendant even had some advice about the best times to go and it's not what you would expect.

"The worst time to use the aeroplane loo is right before take-off and at the very end of a flight, especially if it’s long-haul," they told the publication.

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You should also skip drying your hands, as dryers are often close to flushing toilets and circulate bacteria in the hot air they produce.

And if you do take a moment to powder your nose, the attendant advises not touching any surfaces.

“You should definitely wipe down every surface before you touch it, but if that’s not possible, take some sheets of loo roll and use them to avoid touching anything directly with your fingertips," they said.

If you are still concerned, most flight attendants will carry a small bottle of sanitiser and encourage travellers to do the same.

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Best stock up on hand sanitiser in the duty-free before embarking on your next adventure!

Topics: Travel

Katherine Sidnell
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