Outsourcing an airport’s terminal and airplane’s janitorial services is a cost-effective method to combat the rise in germs and bacteria found throughout the facility and cabin.
Outsourcing Airport and Airplane Janitorial Services to Reduce Germs and Bacteria
2017 experienced a dramatic increase in flight safety and travel, as well as a spike in pathogens resident on high-contact surfaces, both in the terminal and in the planes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, citing a recent study from InsuranceQuotes.com;
The highest germ counts in the planes were on the flush button on the toilets — 95,145 colony-forming units, followed by 11,595 CFUs on the tray tables and 1,116 CFUs on the seat buckles, according to the study.
The highest germ counts in the terminals were found on the screens of airport kiosks, 253,857 CFUs, followed by 21,630 CFUs on bench armrests and 19,181 on drinking fountain buttons, the study said.
The InsuranceQuotes.com study showed a significant spike of CFU’s from a previous study conducted by TripMath.com;
Tripmath.com gauged cleanliness by measuring colony-forming units of bacteria, yeast or mold per square inch. Tray tables scored a nauseating 2,155 CFU per square inch, followed by the overhead air vent (285 CFU), the toilet flush button (265 CFU) and the seat belt buckle (230 CFU), according to the study.
At airports, the button on drinking fountains measured 1,240 CFU, while the stall locks in the bathroom measured only 70 CFU, according to the study.
Keep in mind that, according to the University of Arizona’s Gerba Lab, anything over 100 CFU’s is considered unacceptable.
What many travelers may consider even more unacceptable is the reason why there are so many germs and bacteria spreading throughout the cabin and terminal.
According to an anonymous cabin crew member interviewed during a study conducted by Acquaint;
Cleaners don’t have time to thoroughly clean the planes between journeys, as they are constantly under pressure to provide a quick turnaround.
I have seen passengers change their baby’s nappy [diaper] on the tray table, cut their fingernails onboard, and even urinate in the seats.
The carpets are filthy, and the toilet floors are the worst.
Health & Safety Tips for Facility Managers and Travelers
It’s difficult to comprehend the sheer number of CFU’s resident on self-check-in stations, terminal chair armrests, and water fountains, especially considering that many passengers would self-police their behavior, and likely provide a free wipe down of the high-touch surface area, if provided with a ready supply of disinfecting wipes.
Given the CFU’s found on the tested surfaces are directly related to hygienic bathroom behavior, an easy cost-effective approach to reducing the presence of pathogens would be:
- Provide certified, biodegradable green cleaning wipes at convenient locations near the high-touch contaminated surfaces, and place signs informing travelers of their presence, as well as why and how they should be used.
- Ensure restrooms meet the high standard of quality and service that reflect the professionalism expected from airports and airlines by keeping trashcans empty and receptacles sanitary, as well as ensuring cartridge-filled foaming soap and paper towel dispensers are fully stocked.
The airplane cabins are a different matter entirely.
There really is no accounting for the individual behavior of people when they fly, but it is apparent that the current cleaning regimen employed has led to an alarming presence of dangerous pathogens.
This challenge can be met and addressed cost-effectively by outsourcing your airline’s custodial duties and cleaning product management requirements.
Outsourcing these services:
- Eliminates employee and management overhead, including payroll taxes, training, and paid time off, and;
- Reduces the cost of cleaning product and tool purchasing and storage.
Passengers can also take proactive action by:
- Following common sense hygiene practices, such as washing their hands thoroughly after using the restroom and before eating.
- Applying hand-sanitizer after exiting a restroom, and;
- Carrying a travel package containing green cleaning wipes and wiping down high-contact surfaces prior to use.
References & Resources
- Science Confirms Airplanes Are Vile Canisters of Germs
- 5 of the Filthiest Places to Avoid on Airplanes
- How to fight germs and stay healthy on the road
- Dirty Airline Secrets: Where Germs Live in Planes
- Skip the Airplane Cold: 5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick After Flying
Travel by flight is safer than ever, as long as you discount the atrocious increase in pathogens permeating the airport terminal and airplane cabin.
Travelers are advised to take proactive action to support and ensure their own health, and the safety and well-being of those around them.
Airport facilities managers can improve the health and safety of their staff and customers while simultaneously saving money by outsourcing their services to an experienced janitorial provider.
If you would like to learn more about how your airport can cost-effectively improve its janitorial services while reducing performance affecting and profit reducing germs and bacteria–contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253