How to protect yourself from covid-19 on the plane

Some tips to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria on board an airplane

Many passengers fear being infected by other passengers on board – as is now the case with the corona virus covid-19. The risk can be reduced in a few steps.

Airplane cabin: infection by air is unlikely, let alone with private flights, as I explained before. It’s not only since the appearance of covid-19: the risk of infection has increased by plane. No wonder, after all, you are with a lot of people in a small space for a long time. But the reason, as is often suspected, is not the air conditioning. In most aircraft, filters are installed in the fans, which remove 99.97% of all hazardous particles. Even if it’s counter-intuitive: turning on the fan can therefore be worth it.

Filtered air comes from outside

During the flight, the filtered air comes from outside. On board there are so-called recirculation fans or RecircFans, that is to say fans that operate during the flight and draw air under and above the passengers and is reinjected into the cabin. They are intended to increase the circulation of air in the cabin and relieve the so-called packs supplied by the engines, thereby saving fuel. With the exception of hygiene measures, only filters remain a last line of defense. The riskiest moment is therefore when the fans are completely off. For example, if the plane has to wait a long time on the ground or get on and off. It goes without saying that with private flights, you greatly reduce the waiting time on the runway before takeoff. The risk of getting a virus from the air tends to be low. Passengers sitting directly around the infected person are particularly at risk.

Infection through surfaces is more likely, but you can protect yourself easily

The risk of coming into contact with viruses or bacteria on aircraft surfaces is much greater. Because pathogens can survive there for a while. Even if we do not yet know exactly how long, we assume several hours to several days. Planes are cleaned between flights, but also perfectly disinfected for flights in risk areas. But if you’re still worried, you can fix it too.

There are disinfectant wipes that can kill 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria. Although there is still no 100% guarantee that covid-19 will be included. But experts believe it is likely. Common disinfectants and wipes can kill similarly wrapped viruses.

It is always safer to wash your hands

With these rags, you must then clean all the surfaces with which you come into contact. These are the backrests, the table, the front seat backrest – but also, if you have a window seat, the wall next to you and the sun visor. There is also the small bamboo table or tray and the armrests. On the packaging, pay attention to how the wipes are to be used. Sometimes the agent has to stay wet on the surface for a while.

Even if you take all of these steps – remember to follow the usual advice from authorities (which, incidentally, apply in every cold season): Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. This means: at least 20, ideally 30 seconds. In addition, you should not touch your face too often with your hands, because in this way most bacteria and viruses enter our respiratory tract.

Viruses do not like the dry climate of airplanes at all

Since we still have ventilation on our heads, the air comes 100% from the outside. Most disinfectants do not work against viruses but only against bacteria. Hand washing is best practice, regular soap breaks the membrane of the covid-19.