7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sleep on the Floor of an Airplane
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Traveling can definitely be strenuous, and believe us when we say we understand — especially when you don’t have lounge access before your flight. But in the world of all things aviation, there are certain rules that everyone should follow (unless, of course, you want to end up featured on Passenger Shaming).
The Passenger Shaming Instagram account recently shared a photo of two travelers sleeping on a plane. One passenger was laying horizontally across three seats. The other is lying down on — wait for it — the floor of the airplane. There are plenty of unspoken rules that should almost never be broken during a flight. Among them? Taking off your shoes and socks; clipping your nails; and getting too frisky.
But we have to admit, even we’ve never seen this before:
First of all, there are simply so many things wrong with this photo. Our first question is just, why? And where are her shoes? How did they decide who slept on the seats and who slept on the ground?
Either way, nothing can really justify the willingness of someone to sleep on a floor that has not been cleaned in, well, who knows how long. After seeing this, we may not blame Naomi Campbell for her insane pre-flight cleaning ritual.
Here at TPG, we always want to teach you the best ways to travel, so we are officially advising against this method of sleeping for quite a few reasons.
1. The turn time of a plane determines how much it gets cleaned.
For all our AvGeeks out there, this isn’t really breaking news. A turn time is how long a crew has to turn over the plane from when it lands to when it takes off again. So, while business travelers love those shuttles to and from major cities, we have some bad news: These fast-turnaround flights are most likely the least clean.
2. Flight attendants focus on seats, armchairs and folding trays.
These areas are normally the parts of an aircraft travelers touch directly with their hands. So, you can probably bet the floors are too dirty for your face. Other areas of an airplane to watch out for? Headrests and seatback pockets.
3. Overnight cleans often only include vacuuming.
Taylor Garland, spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, told TPG that plane carpets are occasionally vacuumed between flights. If that makes you feel comfortable enough to lay your head on the floor, props to you. Personally, I’d need a thorough, deep clean before I even consider resting my face on the floor of a public airplane.
4. Airlines perform ‘deep-cleans’ about once a month.
United reported deep-cleaning every 35 to 55 days, and American every 30 days, according to the Wall Street Journal. When an airline deep-cleans a plane, they sanitize the ceiling, walls, overhead bins and shampoo the floor. I don’t know about you, but I’m really hoping these two individuals knew the airline’s deep-cleaning schedule before boarding.
5. There are no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cleaning guidelines.
Yes, you read that correctly. The FAA doesn’t regulate or inspect the cleaning of planes, according to the same WSJ story and USA Today.
6. Sleeping on the floor is also extremely unsafe.
Garland also told TPG that, in the photo, it appears the woman sleeping on the floor may be in an exit row. This means the passenger is, “Blocking egress in an emergency,” Garland said.
Adding to the safety issues, Garland pointed out that, “Neither of them appear to be wearing seat belts which could lead to severe injury, especially laying like that, in the event of turbulence.”
7. There are specific products designed to help you sleep in an airplane seat.
Everyone has different sleep patterns, but bringing along products like earplugs, neck pillows and noise-canceling headphones can help you fall asleep no matter where in the world you are. We also enjoy roll-on lavender oil to feel calm and relaxed. We’ve reviewed eight, yes eight, different eye masks and you should always change into comfortable clothes before trying to doze off.
Sleeping on the floor of an airplane is not only disgusting, but it’s also unsafe. There are plenty of ways to upgrade or book a lie-flat seat for your long-haul flight as well. Come prepared with everything you need to sleep on a plane, and at least attempt to sleep in your seat.
Featured image courtesy of Anouchka/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees