Airplanes are disgusting places, when you stop to think about it. It’s a stack of people bunched together in the most uncomfortably crowded space, with no possible escape until the plane lands. And the most disgusting place in the airplane? The seat pocket in front of you.
Steve Cuzzone […]has found old french fries, a festering baby diaper, half a hamburger, used Kleenex and wet napkins in seat-back pockets. He put a book in once and pulled it out to find the bottom covered in a melted candy bar.
I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty gross right there. Is it just me, or do people not think about the “do unto others” thing? I personally wouldn’t like to find that some insensitive twit has left their trash in the pocket before me, and I don’t think I want someone finding my trash. So I don’t do it. But apparently, the rules seem different for people in planes.
People do things on airplanes that they would never do in other public settings. They pluck eyebrows, polish nails and pick noses. They stick chewed gum in places only other passengers will discover. They blow noses into blankets that get folded up for the next weary traveler. They prop bare feet up on bulkheads and seats. Sometimes they even engage in sex acts.
The worst pocket, according to the article, is the one behind the middle seat: parents often seat children between them, and all sorts of detritus finds its way into that middle seat pocket. The reason that these messes aren’t cleaned up every time you disembark?
[…] most airplanes are only lightly cleaned between each flight. Airlines say planes get a more thorough cleaning overnight and a “deep cleaning” scheduled about every 30 days. In many cases, seat-back pockets aren’t thoroughly checked until overnight cleaning crews work over a cabin. Flight attendants will clean things they see sticking out of seat pockets in between flights, but the deep-down cleaning is reserved for later.
But why do people feel that they can behave badly on a flight?
[…] experts say that […] air travel leaves people psychologically off-kilter and more likely to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Some lose control because the flying experience strips them of all control — you’re told where to sit, when to sit and when you will arrive.
In addition, many people have difficulty being stuffed in close proximity with others and forced to share space, whether it’s overhead bin space, armrests or space taken away when the person in front reclines. As planes get more crowded, people get more cramped. The decline in air service likely has also exacerbated the problem. Some people are simply mad at airlines and seek retribution.
So what’s your thought? Would you prefer the plane be delayed for an hour while they clean up properly (and have them work this clean into their schedules), or are you ok with the mess that other people leave?