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13 Totally Normal Things You Should Never Do On An Airplane

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While flying is the safest form of transportation, it's not exactly anybody's favorite.

After standing in line for hours you wind up stuck in a metal tube full of recycled air. But as bad as that is, flight attendants say doing any of these 13 normal things will make your flight even worse.

1. Eating food off your tray table

Believe it or not, that little plastic tray is the single germiest surface in the entire plane. The tray table surface actually has almost 10 times more germs than the flush button in the plane's bathroom.


The reason is simple: these things are only wiped down once a day, at most. That means you could be swapping germs with two or more passengers from earlier in the same day. Ew! Put a napkin down, at least.

2. Wearing contact lenses

Advanced Eyecare Center

If your eyesight is that bad, it's better to bring along your old pair of glasses than wear your contacts on the plane. The air in the cabin is so dry it will irritate your eyes, especially with the lenses in.

Plus, people tend to fall asleep on long flights, and that's a bad idea with your contact lenses in. For your own comfort, leave them at home.

3. Putting ice cubes in your drink

Tell the steward you'd prefer your drink without them. You'll thank us later.

GustavThree / Flickr

A 2004 EPA study found that only 15% of aircraft water supplies passed health standards. While most airlines stopped serving tap water as drinking water following the report, that dirty water is still used to make ice cubes. It's also used for cooking, which explains a lot about airline food.

4. Falling asleep before takeoff or landing


We invite you to catch up on your sleep while in the air, but wait until you're really in the air. While you change altitude, the air pressure in your ears adjusts to the new height. You need to keep your mouth open and moving to help them adjust painlessly.

If you fall asleep, you're more likely to get a headache from the pressure change. Chew gum until you're in the air or on the ground, just to be safe.

5. Drinking wine or beer

British Airways

Alcohol lowers your immune system, which is already under siege when you're crammed onto a plane full of people. Plus, it's twice as effective at a high altitude, which means you'll get loaded before you realize it.

6. Drinking coffee or tea

T Ching

While coffee and tea are a little healthier for you, they're both made from that gross airplane tap water we mentioned earlier. Even if it's been boiled, we wouldn't want to take a chance by drinking it.

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