If you’re a frequent traveller, you’ve probably pretty much gathered that planes aren’t the cleanest places to be but we brave it anyway to get to our destinations. But when thinking about travelling in the time of coronavirus, that’s a rather scary thought! But, don’t fret, there are some steps you can take to make your flight a lot less germy. So here are 8 steps to help you disinfect your airplane seat for the next time that you brave a flight and increase you chances of an infection free holiday! If you missed my last post on Tips For Your First Solo Trip, Check it out!

how to disinfect your airplane seat

By now, we’ve all seen the video of Naomi Campbell’s flight routine and that’s actually what inspired this post. I remember when it first came out, everyone was thinking that she was doing a little bit too much. But in the current Covid climate, her routine now looks like the bare minimum right?! So lt’s get into your own future airplane seat disinfecting routine so you can stay ready like Naomi!

1. Don’t Forget to Pack your Wipes

The first step on how to disinfect your airplane seat is to have the disinfecting wipes in the first place! You have to pack them to use them! You can try to get smaller packs so they’re not too bulky to carry but honestly, nothing wrong with the normal sized packs. You’ll probably be using them again when you get to your hotel/Airbnb anyway. Try to get one that has a nice smell, you don’t want to stink up the plane with weirdly scented wipes.

how to disinfect your airplane seat

When buying wipes, make sure you get wipes that are Defra approved (UK) EPA registered (USA) disinfecting wipes that say they kill Noro virus, etc. For antibacterial gel, look for gels with minimum 70% alcohol on the ingredients list.

2. Have your wipes at the Ready

Now you’ve got your wipes it’s time to use them! Once you’ve boarded, you’ll need to take your time as you put your hand luggage in the overhead bins (if you have any). Thankfully the overhead bins tend to be open when you board so you don’t have to touch them.

3. Use Your Wipes Correctly

There’s a right way to use disinfecting wipes, and many wrong ways. To correctly wipe, you need to wipe down all hard surfaces. If your wipes have directions, read them and see how long the surface needs to stay wet. If it doesn’t say, leave it on for as long as you can, minimum of 30 seconds.

The places your hands are most likely to touch are the most important when you’re disinfecting. Once you’re seated, wipe your tray table & latch properly before moving onto other surfaces. Then wipe down the arm rest, seat belt clasp, the top of the seat back pockets, the touch screen if you have one, remote/volume controls and the window shade, if it’s a window seat. Don’t bother wiping your seat but we’ll get to that next.

4. Don’t Bother Wiping Your Actual Seat

When thinking of how to disinfect your airplane seat, you might think to wipe your seat BUT it’s actually not a good idea to wipe surfaces like your plane seat, even if its leather. Most airlines advise not wiping leather seats as it causes the material to break down easier. Disinfectant wipes also don’t work on cloth seats and all you’ll do is make your seat wet, making your entire journey less comfortable.

To limit your exposure from seats, you can do like Naomi Campbell does and take a reusable and washable seat cover or you can just use a throw from home specifically for that! Better still, you could just have a travel outfit that you wear on the plane there and back and put that aside from your other clothes.

5. Avoid Seat Back Pockets

Seat back pockets are one of the most germ infested areas on a plane. Now, I was as surprised as you to read this because I ALWAYS reach for the in flights magazines and stash my snacks and water in there! So, do like me and DON’T store things in the back pocket going forward!

It’s best to keep your snack in your bag/purse or you can actually get something like this Flight 001 Seat Pak or something similar to help you organise yourself and hang off the seat in front of you. All so you completely avoid the seat back pocket. To be honest, I’m really going to miss those in-flight magazines (cue violins).

6. Aim for the Window

There are other savvy ways to keep you healthy on your flight and seating in a window seat is one. Research has shown that you have an 80% chance of getting infected if one of 11 people nearest to you is sick. 80%!! So the best thing to do is to get a window seat! The chance of you picking up an infection reduces, while the aisle seat is more prone because of all the people walking in the aisles.

how to disinfect your airplane seat
Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

7. Wipe the Bathroom Latch

Although this isn’t part of how you disinfect your airplane seat, if you use the toilet a lot during flights, wiping the bathroom latch before using it is great practice. As you can imagine, it’s an area of high touch, you’re more likely to pick germs here.

It’s a good idea to take your wipes and antibacterial gel with you if/when you go to the bathroom for the tap and flusher. You could also try to use your knuckles and wrists to do that too.

When you use the airplane bathroom, wash your hands thoroughly and use a paper towel to open the door.

8. Don’t Forget your Hands

I know you’ve been super focused on cleaning all possible surfaces but it’s super important to remember to sanitise your hands. Beyond surface transfer we need to be mindful of hand to face/mouth/nose transfer. Touching a surface and then touching your face will increase your chances of getting ill.

After you’re done wiping all the hard surfaces, sanitise your hands to give you another protective layer. Then sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

how to disinfect your airplane seat
Source: Unsplash


Open your overhead air vent, the cabin filters clean the air as it comes through so at least you get some clean air blowing over you. And drink lots and lots of water, stay hydrated and you’ll feel better all round!

We’ve come to the end now! When next you travel, try to implement these steps to properly disinfect your airplane seat and you’ll be a few steps closer to a virus free holiday! If you have any more tips that I may have missed out, please share in the comments!

If you’ve found this post helpful, don’t forget to share because sharing is caring!

how to disinfect your airplane seat
how to disinfect your airplane seat

Until Next time biscuits,

Stay Safe as you see the world!


  1. Such good tips! I would have never known about not wiping the seat – thats usually what i wipe first!! Haha!
    Also it really makes sense about sitting on the window seat as less people go by.. plus it’s the best seat for landing views!!

    • thank you! I’m happy you found it helpful! And yeah, the window seat is really the best place to be lol for more reasons than one

  2. Hi Bisola,

    It was an extremely useful article. I’m flying two weeks later and I will surely follow every single step in this blog.
    I liked the way Naomi Campbell sanitized her place. Oh, and she is even flying first-class. I will fly with a low-cost airline. Thus, I have to sanitize even more seriously than Naomi Campbell. 🙂 Anyways, I will board with your blog and go through every single point here.

    Thank for your bog!


    • Hey Diana! Awww thank you so much!!! I’s so happy this post is going to be so useful for me! You should update us after your flight and let me know how it went! And exactly lol Naomi is flying first class and she does all of that, we definitely have to do our for low cost airlines.

  3. Oh man…. I feel like this post is going to go viral. This is the info we all need right now. I love the tip about disinfecting the bathroom handle/latch. That is probably overlooked, yet covered in germs! Great post, thanks for writing it.

    • Haha that would be super cool if it went viral! I really learnt a lot when I was writing it to so it was definitely enjoyable. And it’s so true about the bathroom latch, I honestly avoid bathrooms on short flights and even on long ones if I can lol

  4. Lindley Gallegos Reply

    Nice!! I just got off a flight. And these tips are GOLD. Thanks for sharing!

  5. We’re all gonna be expert cleaners by the end of this year. I haven’t taken a flight yet in 2020, but when I do it’s things like this I will be looking to

    • Hahahahaha we’re definitely going to be expert cleaners ,lool that’s so funny! I took a flight in January but nothing since so yeah I’ll definitely be following my own advice when I do travel, whenever that is!

  6. Helpful post which is needed post-lockdown! I travelled home from Australia just as covid was kicking off and didn’t do any of these things other than frequently sanitise my hands. Now we know a bit more about the virus it’s useful to wipe down surfaces to help yourself prevent picking up anything nasty

    • Yeah! As it was kicking off I wouldn’t have known to do any of these things either but now we know more, we can try to keep ourselves as safe as possible!

  7. These tips are the need of the hour and really precisely summed up. Thank you for sharing these tips, will surely keep them in mind post lockdown.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you thought so! And yes, hope you do come back and use these when you’re travelling again! Be safe x

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