6 Disgusting Things To Avoid In Your Airplane Seat

By Matthew Cenzon. May 7th 2016

Whether you are a first-time or frequent flyer, there are some unspoken rules as far as proper hygiene and etiquette on an airplane. No, you won't see these rules posted anywhere at the airport or on the plane itself, but they are something that everyone should learn and abide by for the sake of their fellow travelers. Here are 6 disgusting things people should avoid doing on an airplane (in no particular order):

Toenail Trimming

Yes, it is very tempting to take care of some personal grooming during the downtime spent sitting on an airplane. But please, please, please resist the urge to bust out your nail clippers and start clipping toenails. Some people might find clipping fingernails a bit disturbing, but toenails? Really!? People just shouldn't do it. Nobody wants to smell bare feet, and nobody wants to see nail clippings sprinkled all around the seats. Oh, and painting nails falls under this category as well. It may not be disgusting, but the smell of the nail polish is to some people.

Breaking Wind

Farting is completely natural, but it should be done in the lavatory, if possible. Some may think no one will hear it, or smell it, but people do. The only reason why the perpetrator doesn't notice anything is because it's hard to pinpoint the culprit. Using in-flight blankets or pillows to muffle farts isn't appropriate either. Most of these items are washed periodically, not after every flight, which means fecal matter can be spread from a pillow or blanket to the next passenger. This can possibly give that passenger pinkeye, and that's not very nice or sanitary.

Strong Smelling Food

Sometimes the in-flight food just doesn't cut it and people feel compelled to bring their own little treat as they soar across the mid-Atlantic. Snacks like dried apricots or walnuts are fine; just be mindful of the smell your food might emit. There are strict guidelines about bringing food on an airplane for consumption, yet people still manage to get on board an aircraft with something that smells like it's way past the expiration date. Here's a friendly travel tip: anything fermented should probably be avoided on an aircraft.

Smokeless Tobacco

There are some people who just need to chew or dip to get their nicotine fix, but they shouldn't be doing it on an airplane. Not only is the spitting that accompanies chew or dip disgusting to most who aren't used to smokeless tobacco, it is also unsanitary. Plus, there's the constant fear of spillage, and other passengers don't want the brown gunk landing on their clothes, or on the floor, or on anyone else for that matter. If not for the sake of other passengers, these chewers and dippers should keep in mind that smokeless tobacco can be very harmful to their health and can even cause cancer.

Stuffing Disgusting Things in the Seatback Pocket

A peanut wrapper, scratch paper or empty soda cans are not disgusting things. These are:

  • Dirty diapers
  • Used airsick bags
  • Nail clippings
  • Used tissues
  • Chewing gum
  • Apple cores and other partially eaten food

Some people might consider any type of garbage to be a disgusting item one should never stuff down a seatback pocket. But when a garbage can isn't easily accessible, it's understandable that people have to make do with whatever is available to them. It's only a bad thing when someone leaves the next passenger or a flight attendant with something that would make any normal person cringe.

Using a Blanket or Pillow as a Napkin

As mentioned earlier, blankets and pillows on airplanes are not washed regularly, yet people are quick to use these items as a napkin or tissue. Wiping food stains on the airline blanket is disgusting, but coughing, sneezing or even blowing one's nose in it should be considered a crime. These items are shared with other passengers, and all these people are doing is passing their germs to others, which is one of the fastest ways to spread the flu.

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