Why you should try to book a ticket in the front of the plane

BRITS who want to reduce their risk of catching Covid when travelling should book tickets at the front of the plane.

A new study has found that boarding planes from the back to the front doubles the risk of exposure to the virus.

The report, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, analysed the spread of the virus in the cabin.

A number of US airlines changed their boarding processes from front-to-back, from back-to-front, to reduce contact between passengers.

However, the study found that filling aisles one-by-one from the back actually doubled the risk.

This is because of the closer contact between passengers in the same rows as they form in the aisles while putting their luggage in the overhead compartments.

The report explains: "Back-to-front procedures do, indeed, reduce contacts between seated passengers and those moving in the aisle.

"However, this is not the primary generator of social proximity. An increase in contacts between passengers who are both in the aisle or both seated makes the new procedures substantially worse than the previous one and even more when compared with using a single zone."


To reduce the risk, it was suggested that stopping travellers from using the overhead storage lockers could play a part.

It states: "Our results show that while the original boarding procedures were substantially worse than they could have been, the new boarding procedures further worsen infection risk by increasing social proximity.

"Prohibiting the use of overhead bins to stow luggage, and boarding the window seat before the aisle seat, can ameliorate this.

If introduced in the future, it is great news for fans of the window seats, while aisle fans may be the last on the flight.

Last year research from scientists at Emory University of Penn State discovered that those sitting in window seats had fewer interactions with other passengers — beyond those sitting within two rows of them — thus limiting their chances of interacting with someone who has Covid.

Here are some other ways you can avoid catching a viral infection when travelling by plane.

A flight attendant has warned you should never lean on the plane window, for a rather disgusting reason.

It also isn't the only offender on the plane – tray tables are often cited as one of the dirtiest places as they rarely get cleaned between flights.

Not only do people eat on them, but some passengers have even been caught using them as changing tables for their babies, or putting their bare feet on them.

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