Are planes dirtier these days? Yes, say experts.

September 19, 2022 – Deep cleaning of airplanes is less prevalent now than it was during the beginning of the pandemic, according to experts. That’s because, over time, it has become clearer that the coronavirus spreads mainly through tiny airborne particles, and that surface transmission is rare.

“As more was learned about covid and transmission routes of COVID, it was recognized that deep cleaning was overkill,” said Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) and co-director of NPLI’s Aviation Public Health Initiative, in a September 15 article in the Washington Post.

Experts quoted in the article said that relaxed cleaning protocols won’t affect passengers’ health. The article noted that airlines continue to prioritize air filtration to stave off COVID transmission.

Still, Marcus recommended that passengers continue to take precautions while flying, such as wearing a high-quality mask. “When I’m on a plane and I feel it’s necessary to take a drink or eat something, I’ll put it under my mask and then get the mask back on as soon as I can,” Marcus said. “If you’re doing all of those activities combined with keeping up on your vaccinations and your boosters, then you can turn flying into a relatively speaking low-risk activity.”

Read the Washington Post article: It’s not your imagination: Planes are dirtier