Fall is such a beautiful time that it’s downright unfair it can be ruined for days and or even weeks if you catch the flu. And while there are many common sense things to remember in public like washing your hands, many forget that our aircraft are a perfect breeding ground for germs such as the flu, and without proper sanitation habits your aircraft could be spreading more than you think to your passengers!
To help get you ready for the upcoming flu season, here are a few tips to keep your passengers healthy, while ensuring any nasty germs you may have picked up during your travels don’t stay for long:
- Stock up: Keep two types of sanitizing products on board the aircraft at all times: Sanitizing Wipes and Disinfectant Spray. The wipes are great when used on contaminated surfaces, while the disinfectant spray can take care of any airborne threats. Another helpful tip: to ensure these products don’t take up any more space on board than necessary, buy the small travel sized variety of these products!
- Develop good habits: The best way to keep your aircraft from harboring germs is for crew members or your aircraft’s cleaners (hopefully us!), to develop and maintain a good habit of wiping down cabin, cockpit and galley surfaces after every flight with the above products. Typically, these wipe-downs should focus on heavily touched areas such as handles, tables, and lavatory compartments and shouldn’t take very long – unless you’re flying an Airbus A380 in VIP configuration. By doing these wipe-downs after every flight, it will ensure that the cabin is sanitized before the next flight without the risk of the task being rushed or forgotten amongst other important pre-flight checks.
- Plan for a monthly interior service: Just like every good restaurant, deep cleaning should be an integral part of your aircraft’s monthly appearance and maintenance program. Although many owners and operators will need more than one full interior service every month (especially if you’re flying more than a couple times a week), most can get away with a single service as long as they’ve kept up with general cleaning and sanitizing duties. By doing an interior service at least once a month, this ensures your aircraft receives a full wipe-down of all cabin, cockpit, galley, and baggage compartment surfaces to remove germs and debris that accumulates during normal operation(s). Even if you do these cleanings in-house, this task should always be scheduled ahead of time, and can even be paired with your monthly exterior washes to reduce ground time.
So there you have it, three easy tips for stopping the flu (and other germs) from getting on board your aircraft. It’s worth noting that although we could add many more items to that list, most flight operations won’t need to develop a full health and sanitization program; instead, by keeping these tasks simple and easy to remember, they’re more than likely to be done on a consistent basis and thus protect the passengers and crew on-board from losing any time due to illness!