Plane seats get smart to combat germs


Airplanes and fun, but full of germs. Source: Gerrie Van Dar Walt / Unsplash

WHERE do you think the dirtiest place on a commercial plane is?

The tiny toilet cubicles, the overhead lockers, or the tray tables? Well, it is actually the very chairs you sit on.

While there is nothing entirely sanitary about sitting next to strangers within close proximity of the loos for hours on end, it’s the plane seats you need to worry about.

According to Time, the aisle seat is the worst of all. Not only do germs smother the part you sit on, the top of the seat also festers with harmful microbes from people’s hands as they steady themselves down the aisle.

The germs inside an aircraft, combined with decreased air humidity, leaves your immune system more vulnerable to catching viruses.

One study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research found people are 113 times more likely to catch a common cold while flying than if they were on the ground.

But one aviation seat company thinks they’ve found a solution to this sneeze-inducing issue.

Recaro Aircraft Seating who produces seating for Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, among others, says it has developed a seat which can destroy almost ever germ.

The seat contains a disinfectant which can kill bacteria almost instantly, reports Bloomberg.

But the health-kick doesn’t stop there.

Recaro Chief Executive Officer Mark Hiller told Bloomberg the chairs will be able to communicate to the passenger how well the disinfecting process went.

However, Hiller explained Recaro is still in the process of figuring out how the seats will communicate and insisted, “the best innovation doesn’t help if you cannot show it.”

The communication system also aims to help passengers in other health-assisting ways.

Hiller told Bloomberg the new seats would warn a slouched passenger of impending back pain and encourage them to change their posture.

Currently, Hiller believes this innovative aircraft seat will be fitted into planes within one or two years.

But don’t expect economy class to be getting these premium chairs. You’ll have to book in business class to experience these smart seats.