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  1. #1
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    Question for fellow neat freaks/germaphobes ...

    I shudder every time someone gleefully mentions how they slide their bags under airplane seats -- ON THE FLOOR!!!

    Don't they know what's been on that floor?

    People's shoes. More specifically, the SOLES of people's shoes. Hundreds of people. THOUSANDS of people. Maybe even MILLIONS.

    Shoes that have traipsed all over the streets of New York City. Don't they know what's on the streets and sidewalks of New York?

    Puke.
    Pee.
    Dog poop.
    Bird poop.
    Even people poop (I've seen it happen).
    Crushed cockroaches.
    Rat guts.
    Spoiled milk.
    Axle grease.

    And people walk all over it. Then they walk into JFK, and onto the airplane. With their shoes.

    And then they sit down and put their feet ... under the seat ahead of them.

    And then they leave.

    And along comes that poor unsuspecting Tom Bihn owner who blithely slides his Western Flyer/Pilot/bag of choice on top of that cesspool of filth.

    AND THEN!!!

    He pulls it out, hooks the strap over his shoulder, and PRESSES THE BAG AGAINST HIS BODY!!!

    (*CATCHING MY BREATH*)

    But wait -- that's not all!!

    When he finally gets home, he plops his Bihn bag -- on his bed! Sometimes -- ON HIS PILLOWS!!!! Where he rests his weary head.

    It's like snuggling up face-down on The Bowery.

    Thoughts???

  2. #2
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    yeah I'm going to keep doing it

  3. #3
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    Totally respect your feelings about germs - it's something that freaks a lot of folks out - but I don't share the concern.

    My opinion, based on what I've read so far, is that germs, dirt, bacteria, etc (in historical moderation) are what keep your immune system and biome awake and healthy. There's more and more research being done that shows our US obsession with disinfecting everything is actually harming our health as well as breeding resistant bugs.
    I don't put my bag on the sheets I'm about to sleep on (more because I'm concerned about bed bugs) and I usually wipe off the bag once I'm back in my apartment, but that's about it. I don't wipe down the seat, armrests, tray table, either. My general plan is wash my hands, stay rested, hydrated, and eat a wide range of healthy foods so that my body can do what it's evolved to do.
    If you have a compromised immune system or similar, that's a different story.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  4. #4
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    Question for fellow neat freaks/germaphobes ...

    Firstly, I totally get this. Ten years ago I said almost exactly this to someone who didn't understand why I don't like outside shoes in the house. And again after I asked them to get the duffel bag off the bed.

    Secondly, are you more worried about stains or pathogens?

    Now, several years later, I worry less than I used to about bacteria and viruses because I realised that anti-bacterial wipes didn't kill viruses and most pathogens don't live for long on hard dry surfaces (thanks, Ben Goldacre!). So I just wash my hands a lot and I don't share food or drinks with people I don't kiss on the mouth. This has worked well for me.

    Having said that, I still don't allow outside clothes on the bed. No sitting on the bed in jeans, ever!

    So maybe I am less worried about bacteria and viruses and more worried about stains than I was ten years ago. Question for fellow neat freaks/germaphobes ...

    I think getting on an airplane and touching or using anything requires a hefty suspension of disbelief regarding cleanliness, which most people engage in readily because again, there is so much other more stressful stuff to worry about in the moment. If you really want to contemplate hygiene on a plane you should probably arrive in painter's coveralls, gloves, and a FFP3 dust mask.

    But more practically speaking, you could travel with a protective bag cover or a mat for the underseat part of the journey? That would take care of visible and invisible dirt. Or a portable UV wand for just the invisible stuff? Depends on if you're more worried about stains or pathogens.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCWriter View Post
    I shudder every time someone gleefully mentions how they slide their bags under airplane seats -- ON THE FLOOR!!!

    Don't they know what's been on that floor?

    People's shoes. More specifically, the SOLES of people's shoes. Hundreds of people. THOUSANDS of people. Maybe even MILLIONS.

    Shoes that have traipsed all over the streets of New York City. Don't they know what's on the streets and sidewalks of New York?

    Puke.
    Pee.
    Dog poop.
    Bird poop.
    Even people poop (I've seen it happen).
    Crushed cockroaches.
    Rat guts.
    Spoiled milk.
    Axle grease.

    And people walk all over it. Then they walk into JFK, and onto the airplane. With their shoes.

    And then they sit down and put their feet ... under the seat ahead of them.

    And then they leave.

    And along comes that poor unsuspecting Tom Bihn owner who blithely slides his Western Flyer/Pilot/bag of choice on top of that cesspool of filth.

    AND THEN!!!

    He pulls it out, hooks the strap over his shoulder, and PRESSES THE BAG AGAINST HIS BODY!!!

    (*CATCHING MY BREATH*)

    But wait -- that's not all!!

    When he finally gets home, he plops his Bihn bag -- on his bed! Sometimes -- ON HIS PILLOWS!!!! Where he rests his weary head.

    It's like snuggling up face-down on The Bowery.

    Thoughts???
    Last edited by Cristina; 05-20-2019 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Clarifying timeline

  5. #5
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    I don't know that the overhead locker is going to be any more germ free, and that's the only other option for carry on luggage. It's full of bags that have been wheeled along pavements or rested on the floor of an airport terminal.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  6. #6
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    A packed A45 will fit into an XXL heavy duty Ziploc bag. Sliding said A45 into said Ziploc bag can be very tricky, especially on a crowded flight (also, those Ziplocs are really heavy).

  7. #7
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Sometimes I bring a shop bag onto the plane. Before I put my backpack under the seat in front of me, I may put it in the shop bag, on the theory that the Shop Bag is easier to wipe clean. (Also I seem to recall someone here in the forums mentioning that their bag got drenched when the occupant of the seat up ahead spilled their drink.) Then when I deplane, I turn the SB inside out before I put it into my backpack (so that the “dirty” inside doesn’t touch the contents of my bag).

    I don’t always have an SB with me, though. If I think of it, I turn my backpack upside down, so that the straps are not against the floor.

    But I most definitely do not put suitcases or bags that have been on the floor on my bed.
    Last edited by haraya; 05-21-2019 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    I usually find the "under the seat in front of me" is MUCH CLEANER than the seat I'm sitting in. I can remember at least 5 times I've had to ask the stewardess for paper towels and wipes to clean off the armrests, both the top and sides, because there is food and drink spilled that is still wet and sticky. Who knows what's actually still on the fabric of the seat. I also check the seat fabric to make sure it's not wet. People spill drinks, or worse, puke or pee in the airplane seats. And, yeah, I'm stuck. There's no other seat to move me to.

  9. #9
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I think worrying too much about germs makes it impractical to live your life. The airplane seats are filthy too. Not to mention subway seats and poles, doorknobs, phones, keyboards... I just wash my hands before I eat, and I've made it this far in life.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  10. #10
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    I don't worry too much about under the seat, but I do think about it every time I have to take my bags into an airport bathroom and put them on the ground if there's no hook. It's super gross, but I make sure to wash my hands before I eat and don't put my bags on the bed when I arrive, and so far I seem to be healthy. I've never cleaned off a tray table or armrests before using them, but then again, I don't eat directly off the tray table, so I've never been super worried about it.

    Germs are gross, but I have been blessed with a healthy immune system and I enjoy thinking that it's good at its job.

  11. #11
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    If concerned about the cleanliness of the underseat area, an easy way to protect your luggage would be to unfold a garbage bag like a mat over the carpet before you stash your nice TB bag there.

    Seatmates may give you the eyeball, but who cares? :-)

    I never gave the underseat carpet a second thought until a podiatrist told me how it drives him crazy when he flies to see travelers remove their sandals to walk barefoot through security checkpoints: given all the horrific foot conditions he has treated over the course of his long practice, he sees it as a public health hazard -- akin to walking through a petri dish of stuff with which you would wouldn't want to come into contact.

    Now that travelers have no qualms about taking their shoes off in flight, too, the same probably holds true for the underseat carpet... which is rarely, if ever, cleaned... and is exposed lots of other stuff about which we would rather not think, beyond the gazillions of shoes and feet.

    I wouldn't lose any sleep over it but, yeah, I do avoid putting bags that have been stashed underseat on my bed, either at the destination or at home after the trip.
    Last edited by bb93fo57; 05-21-2019 at 07:00 AM.

  12. #12
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    There are, I hope, similar products outside North America, but I carry a few of these disinfecting wipes onto planes, at least for the tray table, seat, and armrests:
    https://www.kleenex.com/en-us/produc...oval-wet-wipes
    Maybe you could even lightly wipe down a bag after it's been on the floor or in the overhead bin, though over long-time use I don't know how these might affect the nylon exteriors.

  13. #13
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runningtravels View Post
    I don't worry too much about under the seat, but I do think about it every time I have to take my bags into an airport bathroom and put them on the ground if there's no hook. It's super gross, but I make sure to wash my hands before I eat and don't put my bags on the bed when I arrive, and so far I seem to be healthy. I've never cleaned off a tray table or armrests before using them, but then again, I don't eat directly off the tray table, so I've never been super worried about it.

    Germs are gross, but I have been blessed with a healthy immune system and I enjoy thinking that it's good at its job.
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    Can hold up to 45 pounds.

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  14. #14
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    I feel like I have three classes of cleanliness or dirtiness that I rate every surface: "fairly clean," "a little dirty," and "very dirty."

    Very dirty might be the floor of a subway or a subway platform or the worst, the floor of a bathroom. A little dirty might be an outdoor sidewalk or the carpet at an airport. Fairly clean might be a bench or the floor at my apartment.

    I am OK with putting bags down in places that are "a little dirty." Under the seat of the plane fits this measure.

    I am not OK with putting bags down in places that are "very dirty." Under no circumstances is are regular bags allowed to touch that, unless it is a heavy duffel.

  15. #15
    Forum Member ButtUglyJeff's Avatar
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    I'll take my chances and trust my immune system (I work it out regularly), before I consider checking one of my two bags...

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