We all know that planes are an incubus of plague: from sticky kids to the bloke who sounds like he’s coughing up a lung, you need an immune system lined with titanium to disembark without at least a sniffle.

A recent review by Drexel Medicine pinpointed the six biggest germ disseminators on a commercial aircraft and, before you go pointing the finger at the recycled air, know that the blast-chiller aircon doesn’t even make the cut.

Do Not Touch The Following On A Plane Unless You Want To Get Sick & Die

Number one on the list is the seemingly innocent seat pocket; sure, you’re *meant* to use it as a handy storage unit for books, snacks and headphones but that doesn’t stop some gross folk from abusing the trust system by using them as a rubbish bin. From grotsky used tissues to fingernail clippings, there’s no limit to the germ-infested materials the humble pouch could have contained.

Tray tables are up next; they come in constant contact with everything from food to dirty nappies (!!!) and often only get a cursory wipe by flight attendants in between services. Before you touch that thing, give it a good scrub with a disinfectant wipe. 

Bathrooms are third, ‘cos obvs (think of how much dried splooge could be in there). There’s no avoiding them, though, so don’t be a grub and always remember to wash your hands with warm soapy water after a #1 or #2.

A surprising culprit is the packaged blanket; the study found attendants are often guilty of repackaging them between flights without so much as a wash, which means the fibres of your long-haul snuggle buddy are infected with god know’s what. PACK ‘YO OWN.

Do Not Touch The Following On A Plane Unless You Want To Get Sick & Die

Next up: in-flight entertainment systems. Those touch-screens are obviously fingered hundreds of times a day by multiple people, which puts you at serious risk of picking up bacteria. It ain’t like you’re going to sit staring at the back of someone’s head on a 21-hour flight, so clean the screen with a disinfectant wipe before selecting Curb Your Enthusiasm Seasons 1-8.

FInally, step away from the in-flight magazines and laminated safety cards; those publications usually only come out once every quarter, so how many other people do you reckon would have thumbed through those pages? Or sneezed in the folds?

Do Not Touch The Following On A Plane Unless You Want To Get Sick & Die

It’s impossible to completely avoid other passenger’s germs when flying, but you *can* minimise your chances of arriving at your destination with a holiday-bustin’ head cold.

1) Pack disinfectant wipes and apply them to almost everything.

2) Try not to touch your face throughout the flight.

3) Wash your hands regularly, so you don’t cross-contaminate.

4) Take a hot shower as soon as you disembark.

5) Pray for your soul.

Do Not Touch The Following On A Plane Unless You Want To Get Sick & Die

Source: Drexel Medicine.

Photo: Universal / Bridesmaids.