Self-Cleaning Aircraft Seats Will ‘Destroy Almost Every Germ on Contact Within Seconds’

May 12, 2018

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.

Airline seat manufacturers are constantly developing better-designed products. We’ve seen some great innovations recently, from United’s dense yet well-designed Polaris seats to Emirates’ new world-class first class suites.

Now, seat manufacturer Recaro is developing a new technology that focuses on health rather than just comfort. According to a Bloomberg interview with Recaro CEO Mark Hiller, a new self-cleaning business class seat is in the process of being developed. The seat will be “infused with a disinfectant that destroys almost every germ on contact within seconds” using a newly-developed anti-bacterial film.

And, since “the best innovation doesn’t help if you cannot show it,” this new seat will indicate to passengers just how clean it is.

However, you’re not going to see this new technology on-board anytime soon. According to Recaro, the seats won’t be unveiled for another year or two. Even then, an airline is going to have to order and install the new seat before you’re able to experience it for yourself.

This innovation will join a list of others designed to make aircraft less germy — including Boeing’s self-cleaning toilets and GermFalcon’s UV-light-based system to clean the interior of an aircraft. For germophobes, these innovations can’t be installed soon enough.

While many of us might not want to think about it, there are some exceptionally dirty spots in airports and aircraft. Hands-down, self check-in screens are the dirtiest, with an average of 253,857 colony-forming units (CFU) — viable bacteria and fungal cells — per square inch. In the airport, second and third place goes to gate bench armrests (21,630 CFU per square inch) and water fountain buttons (19,181 CFU per square inch).

On-board, the bacterial onslaught continues with lavatory flush buttons (95,145 CFU per square inch), tray tables (11,595 CFU per square inch) and seatbelt buckles (1,116 CFU per square inch) being the highest source of germs. Notably absent from this list of dirtiest spots is the target of this latest innovation: the airplane seats themselves. That said, for those hoping for a cleaner aircraft, any innovation to reduce germs is a welcome innovation.

H/T: Bloomberg via Australian Business Traveller

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • 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
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.