As people around the world resume travelling, the common assumption is that airplanes will have undergone rigorous cleanings before each flight.
However, according to a TikTok user who identifies himself as a flight attendant, passengers should still avoid touching the surfaces of a plane as much as possible to avoid encountering germs left behind.
On Wednesday, Tommy Cimato, who goes by the username @tommycimato on the app, shared the behaviours he advises passengers to avoid, many of which are due to cleanliness reasons, in a TikTok titled: “Five things you should never do on an airplane.”
In the clip, Cimato began by urging travellers to never touch the flush button in the onboard lavatories with their “bare hands,” as it’s “honestly just super unsanitary and it’s pretty gross”.
To avoid touching the button, the flight attendant recommended using a tissue or a napkin as a buffer.
Cimato’s second rule relates to hydration, as he then urged viewers: “Don’t forget to drink water.” According to Cimato, passengers should consume about 16oz of water for every flight that they go on to ensure they stay hydrated.
When it came to his third and fourth tips, Cimato again addressed the cleanliness of planes, with the flight attendant first urging those who prefer window seats to avoid sleeping or leaning on the window - as they could be exposing themselves to the germs of passengers before them.
“Do not fall asleep or lean your head on the window,” he continued. “You’re not the only one who has done that and you don’t know how many people or children have wiped their hands or other things all over the window.”
According to Cimato, the same reasoning applies to his fourth rule, avoiding wearing shorts on planes, with the TikTok user explaining that you “never know how clean it’s going to be” and that pants are typically a better choice when travelling.
For the final tip, Cimato urged viewers to seek help from flight attendants if it is needed, explaining that passengers should “not feel afraid to let a flight attendant know if you’re feeling sick”.
“We are there to help, so if you need food, water, or an airsickness bag, please feel free to let us know,” he concluded.
As of Thursday, the TikTok has been viewed more than 1.2m times, with many viewers expressing their disgust and concern over the realisation that planes aren’t as clean as they expected.
“This proves that you guys don’t clean inside the plane,” one viewer claimed, while another said: “I thought inside the planes are sanitised after passengers leave.”
However, in response to one viewer who asked: “Don’t they sanitise after every flight?” Cimato clarified that, while the “ground crew does all the plane cleaning” and does “their best to keep it clean,” his advice is “just in case it gets missed”.
The video also prompted responses from viewers who revealed that they typically take cleaning into their own hands when travelling aboard a plane, with someone else explaining that they use Clorox wipes to wipe down the plane’s tray table, window, seat and arm and anything else they “can reach” before taking their seat.
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