Here Are the Least Filthy Airlines

Illustration for article titled Here Are the Least Filthy Airlines

It’s no secret that even the most well-maintained airplane cabins are still crawling all sorts of icky germs. Most travelers are inured to this fact and try not to think about it, but there’s always that one person wiping down their armrests with Wet Ones. This list is for them.

Air travel research organization Skytrax surveyed 8 million travelers across 245 airlines and asked them to rate aircraft cleanliness on their flights—including seating areas, restrooms, carpets, trays, all of it. The top-rated airlines:

  1. EVA Air
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. ANA All Nippon Airways
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Asiana Airlines
  6. Garuda Indonesia
  7. Japan Airlines
  8. Hainan Airlines
  9. Korean Air
  10. Hong Kong Airlines

Fortune notes that it’s not a coincidence that all of these airlines are Asian: They are all on alert because of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). There have been 126 cases in South Korea (and 11 deaths); while the outbreak doesn’t qualify as an emergency according to the World Health Organization, Asian airlines are playing it particularly safe. If the virus were to spread, it could cost them billions of dollars.


It’s kind of a catch-22 for traveling germaphobes: MERS is definitely working in your favor, except it’s also probably scaring the shit out of you.

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Image via Flickr/Andrew W. Sieber.

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When I was a kid, I remember having to wait an hour before we could board our return flight from Antigua because they had to sanitize the plane. I don’t think they spend more than 5 minutes these days. When we flew United to Costa Rica last year, the return flight was nasty. My tray had breadcrumbs and a coffee stain...oh, and my vomit bag was full.