It’s been more than a dozen years since an uncomfortable, smelly, filthy trip from Los Angeles to New York changed my life forever. Before then, I’d been just like any other passenger, never thinking about all the people who’d slept in my seat before me, and how it's actually impossible for airplane seats to be as clean as they should be.
Because of that flight, I created NiceSeats airplane seat covers. I was determined to improve the standards and it had to be by creative a barrier between me and the hundreds of people that were on the plane before me. Using my background as a costume designer, I also want to make sure everyone could find the color and pattern best suited for them, or even have a First Class airline seat cover for lay flat seats, all helping turn to take steps to keep healthy on flights.
At first, people just didn’t get it, but then the media started coming around. For example, in October 2018, the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC) published a study commissioned to find the most germ ridden places on an airplane. They swabbed 18 domestic flights on Air Canada and two other regional airlines, taking more than 100 samples, finding E Coli on head rests to seat pockets. As one investigator said, “We've got to try and think how would fecal contamination get inside [the seat pocket].” Makes you shiver, doesn’t it?
If that weren’t enough, I realize we are all facing a whole new travel world in 2020 with the Novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, and what it is doing to the travel industry. We’ve all seen airlines requiring masks, promotional videos of airlines disinfecting planes during the pandemic, but some airlines are still trying to pack their planes.
So, how are we going to stay safe in a pressurized aluminum tube, elbow to elbow with hundreds of fellow strangers, sitting in a seat that didn’t even have time to cool down from the last guy? This is what I think we'll need – in addition to NiceSeats of course.
Some disinfectant wipes for the arm rest are a must, and don’t even think about the seat pocket… use the pocket that comes as part of your NiceSeats seat cover on planes, to store your phone, earbuds and smaller items. For longer flights, bring a neck pillow and if you have to use a blanket,bring your own, don’t use the blankets on the plane. Really. Trust me on this.
United, American, Frontier and JetBlue will require flight attendants to wear masks. Delta mandates it if attendants cannot maintain distancing, and flight attendants at other airlines are being encouraged to don them as well.JetBlue also is requiring masks for passengers, but even if your carrier doesn’t require them, you may want to wear one anyway.
Of course we'll need hand sanitizer but you already knew that. :)
These are a few of the ways we are all evolving and adapting in todays world. It used to be these techniques simply made us feel better, now we know they will also keep us, and the ones we love, safer as well.
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