Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
While the British summer has come and gone already, most of us are jetting off in a last ditch attempt to catch some sun abroad. But before you jump on that plane and fly off on holiday, there’s something you should know about the plane.
If you’ve read the secrets that the airlines don’t want passengers to know you probably feel quite clued up on plane etiquette – you’ll know how to calm anxiety during a flight, and why flight attendants warn you to never walk around without shoes.
Before you’ve even stepped foot on the plane, you’re probably armed with hand luggage and ready to race on so that you can drop your bags and get settled into your seat before everyone else. However, boarding the plane first could actually be really terrible for your health.
A study published in the American Physical Society journal suggests that you are more likely to catch a bug if you’re too eager to hop aboard. The researchers conducted the study to find out whether illness spreads during a flight if just one passenger happens to be ill, and in creating a mathematical model based on different boarding scenarios they discovered that those with first class and priority boarding tickets were more likely to become infected.
In order to reduce the risk of passengers catching a bug, the researchers advocate a system that allows passengers to board from the front and back of the plane simultaneously. In this instance, people with an illness are less likely to be walking past all those sitting at the front end of the plane. It sort of balances out how far the germs go.
So word of warning if you’re a bit of a germophobe – slow down when it comes to joining the boarding queue…