In times of the coronavirus (COVID-19) it is important to know where to sit on an airplane. Based on various studies, EUclaim explains where to sit during a flight in times of the coronavirus.
The working of air filtration in an airplane
Before we tell you more about the safest place in an airplane during the corona pandemic, it is important to learn more about the working of air filtering during a flight.
High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters
Aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA filters). These filters are used in hospital operating rooms as well as in airplanes to filter small particles from the air. The air circulation does not flow from the front to back, but from top to bottom via several air systems in the side of the airplane. This means that you basically share your air with passengers situated in the rows in front and behind you. The air is completely refreshed every two to three minutes. Because the air coming from the outside is too thin to breathe directly, it is a must to circulate this air in the aircraft. That air is then filtered by the filter systems.
The safety of air filtration
The filtering and refreshing of the air along with other corona measures (such as cleaning and face masks) makes flying regarded safe in times of the coronavirus, according to various studies.
The safest place to sit in the plane during the corona pandemic
What is the safest place to sit if you decide to fly during the corona pandemic? Several studies show that a window seat is the safest place, due to the fact that this seat gets the most fresh air. It has also been found that passengers with a window seat have less contact with sick passengers compared to elsewhere in the aircraft. This advice does not only apply when you are flying during the corona pandemic: even in times of the (regular) flu, it is safest to get a window seat to avoid contamination.
More advice about flying in times of the coronavirus
Earlier, EUclaim gave tips on flying in times of corona. It is important to bring disinfection wipes to clean the table and arm- and headrest at the start of the flight. Also keep in mind you stay seated as much as possible during the flight. Do you have to use the bathroom? Touch as little as possible and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We recommend you to open the toilet door with a disinfectant wipe. If you are happy to fly with the Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA), soon you may not have to worry about this at all. The airline is now trying to turn the bathroom experience into a more hands-free one, with a doorknob that can be opened and closed with the elbow. This is currently on trial, but can be an interesting example for the entire industry.
It is also important (and mandatory) you keep your face mask on during the flight. Last but not least: touch your face as little as possible.
In the end, you are the one who decides if you are comfortable enough to fly. Make a choice that you feel comfortable with. If you choose to fly during the coronavirus, be sure to prepare well and do not travel if you have any symptoms that match the virus!
Corona safety measures at London Heathrow Airport