You've seen those people - the ones that sit down in an airplane seat and immediately disinfect everything in sight. I avoid being one of "those people" because while I am a germaphobe, I refuse to live my life like that. You could actually drive yourself insane if you think about what is on every surface and I travel too freaking much in this germy world to worry.
This all changed last week on a flight from Denver to Santa Barbara. Since it was a short distance, we were on a small regional jet aka close quarters. As we taxied to the runway, we suddenly turned around and started making our way back to the gate.
"We've got a problem," the man behind me said.
Sure enough, we pulled back up to the gate, the pilot came out of the cockpit, the jet bridge was pulled out to meet us, and no one was telling us anything. This was, most certainly, a problem.
Finally, the pilot came on and said that there was sick passenger in the way back and the paramedics would be coming to check him out and a cleaning crew (or "hazmat" as he later referred to them) was also coming on board. Yep, my worst nightmare happened: some older gentleman got sick at his seat. All over his seat, in fact.
He walked off the plane (I was confused by this as well) to meet the paramedics and while we waited for the cleaning crew to come on, the pilot started handing out disinfectant wipes to whoever wanted them.
The man behind me piped up and said "can I have one of those wipes? I went to the bathroom and on the way back I put my hands all over that guy's seat." OH - I should mention that he said this as he had his hands wrapped around the headrest of my seat to help lower himself into his seat. I nearly died. Actually right at that moment I contemplated shaving my head because surely the germs from his hands had leapt off my headrest and made a home in my top knot.
Right then and there I whipped out my PlaneAire that I always carry in my purse which is basically an organic essential oil spray that kills bacteria in the air and on surfaces. It came in so clutch at that moment I couldn't have been more grateful. You bet I sprayed the air around me, the seat headrest, and the arms of my seat. Basically anything that was in my immediate perimeter got sprayed. Even though one spray really goes a long way, I am a bit of a paranoid freak.
The best thing about this spray is that it isn't an aerosol can, so no one really noticed me going to town... except for the woman in the window seat across the aisle.
I looked over to find her laughing at me, but not in a mocking way. More of an "I feel you sister" kind of way.
"I'm usually not "that" person, but today I am," I told her. "Would you like to borrow it?"
"Oh yes, if you don't mind!" she replied.
That mighty little bottle of PlaneAire ended up getting passed around the plane to anyone who needed it. Passengers joked that I should start charging per spray. Not a bad idea, but who am I to deny them a clean seat? Every person who gave it a try was shocked at the ingredients (basically six organic essential oils aka no alcohol or bleach!) which made them feel very comfortable using it and not minding their neighbors spraying it as well. Most made a mental note of the brand (which you can easily pick up on Amazon, FYI). Before long, the stale plane air was replaced with the fresh herbal scent of the spray.
I finally felt ok about my environment and the older gentleman and his wife walked back on the plane. I put my head down and held my breath (I told you I'm a germ freak) so as to not take in anything they were puttin' out.
Then, my favorite part of this entire experience happened: as the wife walks down the aisle, she kept repeating "don't throw darts at us! Don't throw darts at us!" since her husband checked out ok and was cleared to continue to fly on to Santa Barbara. I laughed out loud and we taxied back out for take off with less germs on board.