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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:25 AM

TSA & ATC Post: Why is it that the only time I catch a cold is when I fly somewhere

on an airline? I was gone for six days on a trip to California, and sure enough, as almost always happens, I was feeling the symptoms of a cold on my flight home. Yuck. Hacking and sneezing and coughing. It seems to happen almost every time I fly.

I am not amused.

On the other hand, I had an opportunity to thank several TSA employees for showing up for work despite not being paid, due to Donwald Trump's little temper tantrum. Security screening actually seemed somewhat more relaxed on this trip, and there were fewer TSA workers at the screenings in the MSP and LAX terminals.

In fact, I stupidly forgot that my pocket knife was in my jeans pocket on the trip out. I put it in my jacket pocket and sent it through the X-ray machine, figuring I'd lose yet another knife on the trip. Nope. The screener didn't see it, or ignored it. I put it in my checked bag on the way home.

I think that the longer this Trump Shutdown goes on, though, the more TSA people are going to stop coming to work. That could happen pretty soon now. I'd be a little concerned if I were planning another trip. Also, the ATC workers aren't being paid. If some of them don't show up, air traffic control could become a real issue down the road.

Way to go, Donwald! Way to go!

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Reply TSA & ATC Post: Why is it that the only time I catch a cold is when I fly somewhere (Original post)
MineralMan Jan 11 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 11 #1
MineralMan Jan 11 #2
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 11 #4
MineralMan Jan 11 #9
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 11 #15
MineralMan Jan 11 #18
Crutchez_CuiBono Jan 11 #5
Crutchez_CuiBono Jan 11 #3
MineralMan Jan 11 #10
Crutchez_CuiBono Jan 11 #12
dewsgirl Jan 11 #6
writes3000 Jan 11 #7
nilram Jan 11 #24
MontanaMama Jan 11 #8
MineralMan Jan 11 #11
MontanaMama Jan 11 #16
Crutchez_CuiBono Jan 11 #13
PJMcK Jan 11 #14
MontanaMama Jan 11 #17
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 11 #19
marlakay Jan 11 #20
MineralMan Jan 11 #21
marlakay Jan 11 #23
Takket Jan 11 #22

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:33 AM

1. You get a cold on an airplane because you're in a big metal tube full of recirculated air.

There are filters in the air conditioning system but the germs and viruses emitted by the other passengers can get through. Airplanes are germy.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:34 AM

2. No doubt. I suppose I passed it along on my flight home, too.

Bummer!

Still, that's not as bad as sitting next to someone for four hours who ate a bean burrito before getting on the plane. I'll take a cold over that anytime.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:39 AM

4. I assume you've had the bean burrito experience?

And of course the reduced air pressure in the plane (the equivalent of about 8,000' above sea level) makes fartacious events more likely...

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:54 AM

9. Only on the receiving end. As a polite sort of fellow,

I avoid farty foods before flying. I don't wish to offend. I wish everyone did that, after my most recent trip. I was all "WTF Did You Eat?" and stuff on the plane. A silent mental comment, of course.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:03 AM

15. One of the grossest things I ever witnessed on an airplane was when

the passenger across the aisle took off his shoes and socks and started picking at his toenails. I thought, dude, were you raised by wolves?

Maybe the airlines should start hanging those little pine-tree car air fresheners from the air vents.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:22 AM

18. Uffda! I don't want to see someone do that anywhere, frankly.

I used to fly a lot. I fly a lot less now that I can't write it off as an expense.

I think my favorite in-flight story was my flight back from Turkey when I was in the USAF. The plane made a stop in Rome, and there was enough time for a brief walk around the terminal before getting back on the plane. This elderly couple came up to me in the boarding area (I was in my blue dress uniform), along with their young teenage granddaughter.

They asked if I would mind if their granddaughter sat next to me on the plane and if I'd make sure she met her parents at JFK. Granddaughter rolled her eyes. "Sure," I said. "I'd be happy to." So, the grandparents spoke to the airline people at the desk, and they issued the girl a new boarding pass next to my seat.

Cute kid. I remember thinking, "Folks, you're seating your 15-year-old granddaughter next to a 21-year-old Air Force dude who has been stationed at a remote base staffed only by men for 15 months. Are you sure that's what you want to do?" Of course, I had no bad intentions at all, and was a perfect gentleman on the flight, but I thought it was an odd thing for someone to do.

Anyway, it was a long flight, and I got to hear a commentary in run-on sentences from a weary, but still excited, teenager about all the things she'd seen in Italy on her vacation with her grandparents. She must have said, "It was a real experience for me, and then..." fifty times. I just smiled and nodded, until the kid finally fell asleep, leaning her head on my shoulder. Overall, it was an odd experience. Way more trust all around than I would have expected, even in 1968.

We finally got to JFK, and I escorted the girl off the plane and handed her off to her waiting parents, who tried to tip me for looking after their daughter. I declined, of course. I still thought it was odd to rely on some young Air Force sergeant to look after a young teenager. But, maybe not. She got there safely and unbothered.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:39 AM

5. You've got that right.

Little time between flights to really do more than pick up trash and check the bins for lost and found. The filters don't do any good if they aren't changed very often. I think it's just part of flying. Unfortunately. I try to drive anymore if i can. Trains are really fun too.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:37 AM

3. Dude...forgot your knife going on a plane?

You're lucky. They could've made hay out of that. Glad you were ok. The air recycled in the plane gets shunted straight to your face when you are in a plane. People cough and sneeze and still haven't gotten the memo on the "IN YOUR ELBOW" sneeze/cough bulletin. A lot of times travel just wears you down from the inner stress you may not even know you're experiencing. Plus you were out west w your parents in some very trying times. Getting sick was almost inevitable.
You cannot touch your nose, mouth, or face (or even rub your eyes), when you are traveling especially. And that's a tall order. I wear gloves so when I do make contact or come close, the gloves help remind me not to do it. And, you can take them off when you're in a place where you don't have to worry so much. Just some light, even leather, gloves. Helps.
Millions of people travel everyday. Someone w an incredible flu could've handled your bags. Everyone is so overworked folks go to work sick routinely. Just so many ways to get a bad bug traveling. Gotta be so careful, or get sick. I just kind of plan on it bc it always seems to happen to me too. Saline in the nose is another trick to block intrusion.
Mind you, all of this is when I travel. Not around the city so much, but, it all applies. Hope everything's ok w Mom and Dad.
Rest and lots of water. Starve a cold, feed a fever. Recoup.

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Response to Crutchez_CuiBono (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:57 AM

10. Thanks.

I almost never fly with a pocket knife. I put it in the checked bag. I was fortunate not to have had to surrender it to the TSA guy. I hate when that happens, but I have two more just like it waiting for me when I finally lose my current one. I guess I was just distracted when I got dressed to go.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:00 AM

12. Yes. It happens.

Sounds like you had a lot on your mind. Have a good weekend.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:39 AM

6. My son is in the Air Force, went back on New Years day, he and many of his fellow wingmen were very

sick last week. Most had flown home and back, for the holidays.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:40 AM

7. Serious advice: Avoid touching your face during flights. Don't rub your eyes or nose.

As soon as I stopped doing that, I stopped getting colds after flying.

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Response to writes3000 (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 12:42 PM

24. +10. Use a tissue when rubbing your eyes or nose

Iíve started using glasses or hand wipes to wipe down the tray table and armrests. I may look like a fruitcake, but I get far fewer colds.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:43 AM

8. Airplane cabins are just filthy.

People in enclosed places touching the arm rests, tray tables, air vents etc and those surfaces are NEVER sanitized and even if they were, it would all be for naught with the next round of passengers. Tray tables, seat pockets and the air vent controls are germier than a public restroom. I have seen parents change a baby diaper on tray tables! Gah!! I always travel with a pack of bleach wipes and wipe down every single surface near my seat from the arm rests, seat belt buckle, window, tray table, seat pocket and light and air vent controls. Especially air vent controls!! I look like a crazy person Iím sure but I donít care. Airplane bathrooms are cleaned more than the cabins. http://time.com/4877041/dirtiest-places-on-airplanes/

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:58 AM

11. Well, it's just a cold. Better than the flu.

I've caught that on a plane, too, in the past.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:04 AM

16. Yes...thankfully it is only a cold.

Bleach wipes! No messing around. Your OP just made me text my husband, who is at the airport in SLC as I write this, to remind him to sanitize his seat and surroundings.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:01 AM

13. Wow.

Changing a baby needs to be done in the bathroom or with a blanket over the tray. Hard to fly w kids.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:01 AM

14. Anticeptic wipes are great

If you get a travel-sized package, theyíre easy to carry.

People, in general, are filthy. Among my musical gigs, I play piano for a ballet company in NYC. Before every session, I wipe down the keyboard and music desk and the dirt that ends up on the wipes is disgusting. Iím embarrassed by my colleagues lack of hygiene. Fortunately, my carefulness has kept me healthy.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:09 AM

17. Oh yes.

My kiddo plays piano and his teacher has the kids wash before each lesson and has them use hand sanitizer afterwards to keep nasty germs in check. Youíre wise to pay attention to that. We always keep travel packs of bleach wipes in the shelf in the closet where the travel shave kits etc are. Easy to grab and take along. When you wipe down your seat area the wipe is just grungy...and thatís what you can SEE! Imagine what you canít?

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 11:53 AM

19. I traveled on airplanes frequently because of my job

and never once got sick. I don't know if that was just luck or what, but I've never used antiseptic wipes on much of anything. Some researchers have found that they don't really kill many germs but just spread them around, and that they might even contribute to the evolution of antiseptic-resistant "superbugs." https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/scientists-discover-that-antimicrobial-wipes-and-soaps-may-be-making-you-and-society-sick/ So I don't bother with them.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 12:15 PM

20. I flew back Sunday night from LAX

And by Wednesday in bed with bad flu, so much for shot. I think it didnít help my immune system was down from not sleeping in hotel and drinking at wedding.

I havenít been this sick in years, fever, cough, barely walk to bathroom. Decided I am not going to fly anymore during the winter.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 12:21 PM

21. I'm so sorry! No flu for me.

I had my shot, too, but that doesn't always work. One year, I had a mild case of the flu, complete with fever, after air travel around this time of year.

Frankly the widespread outbreaks of flu are almost all caused by people traveling everywhere during the holidays. They spread it nationally very effectively.

I'm going to treat my cold today with a snifter of brandy this afternoon and a long nap.

Get better soon!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 12:28 PM

23. Thanks I feel tiny bit better day 3

I use to put brandy in my tea for a cold. Helped you relax.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 12:23 PM

22. For what it is worth...

You are typically infected for about two or three days before symptoms manifest themselves.

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