Have you ever wondered about the germs that were lingering on your airplane seat? The reality is that any shared space like an airplane cabin is bound to be a breeding ground for germs. Microbes from passengers lurk in the fibers of airline seats long after a flight has ended. This can lead to passengers becoming ill without ever knowing the source. Fear of picking up germs on planes isn't an overreaction. Several studies have confirmed that airplane seats are covered in germs. One company has a new solution for fighting germs on planes. Recaro Aircraft Seating is currently at work on developing a new type of seat that is infused with a special kind of disinfectant. This disinfectant has the ability to destroy germs on contact within mere seconds.

A Look at Germ-Proof Seats

Recaro Aircraft Seating already works with major airlines around the world like Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways to design innovative airplane seats. The company's plan to roll out self-cleansing seats could be a game changer for the airline industry, at least in Business class. These new seats will do much more than simply tackle germs on contact. They will also keep passengers informed regarding what the germ status is on any given seat. The idea of germ-proof seating isn't completely new. Rockwell Collins already manufactures seats that come with a special antimicrobial coating. However, not every airline that the seat manufacturer works with chooses this option.

Beyond Germ Protection

Recaro Aircraft Seating has plans in place that go beyond making the world's cleanest airline seats. The company is also working on making sure the new germ-proof seats it plans to debut are more comfortable and convenient than anything else that's available right now. The new seats will be completely digitized to encourage a totally personalized experience for each passenger. The seats are being designed with comfort in mind. Features like built-in massage capabilities and technology that can predict when backaches will set in will be part of the design. The goal is to turn each seat into something that feels like a private hotel room for passengers.

How Serious Is the Threat of Germs on Planes?

Some critics might be skeptical that rolling out germ-resistant seats could be feeding into paranoia regarding germs. However, the reality is that today's long-haul flights are making it more important than ever to keep planes clean. It is possible for contagious diseases to be spread quickly through an airplane. In fact, maladies like norovirus and MRSA can both be spread on airplanes. What's
more, some bugs can live for up to a week in the fabric of a seat. A seat's buckle can host more than 1,000 varieties of bacteria and fungal cells.

When Can Travelers Expect to See Germ-Proof Seats on Planes?

Recaro Aircraft Seating is still about two years away from being able to offer germ-proof seats to its customers in the airline world. The company is currently focused on developing ways to apply germ-proof coatings to soft surfaces and make seats that are capable of telling passengers about the status of germs. However, there's no guarantee that airlines will opt to install these news seats on
their planes. Each seat is sure to come with a hefty price tag that might be unattractive to some airlines.

Pedro Pla is co-founder of GET.com. He has been around the globe several times and considers collecting air miles and points from credit cards to be a hobby, if not, an obsession. Email: p@get.com.