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Airport self check-ins are 200% dirtier than your toilet seat

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The seat belt buckle is the most dangerous surface – 91% of its bacteria can cause an infection.

Do you ever wonder why people tend to get sick after traveling? A recently conducted study swabbed six surfaces from three different major U.S. airports and airline flights.

Although 2017 was historically the safest year for commercial air travel, travel dangers aren’t always as large as the planes we fly in. With the number of travelers increasing every year for the past nine years, it’s easy to see the increased foot traffic through airports. What we can’t see are the risks that come with the travelers – the germs brought in by passengers and left waiting for their source of transportation: you. 

Over this busy holiday season, insuranceQuotes conducted 18 tests across six surfaces from three major U.S. airports and airline flights. They found the average number of viable bacteria and fungal cells per square inch, or colony-forming units (CFU), to see how clean traveling really is.

Lab Result Highlights:

  • The self check-in screen is the dirtiest surface you will touch at an airport
  • Airplanes laboratory flush is over 3,000x dirtier than the average household toilet handle
  • The seat belt buckle is the most dangerous surface – 91% of its bacteria can cause an infection
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