New Business Class Seat Will Make Flying Safe for Germaphobes

On a plane your seat belt buckle may contain germs from the previous passenger. And don’t think the airline is sanitizing it between flights. And who knows what happened in the seat before you go tthere?

One of the most disgusting places on a plane is the seat pocket in front of you. That’s often cloth, good luck sanitizing it even if the airline was trying. Goodness knows what’s been in there, even just a previous passenger’s tissues.

Seat maker Recaro — many readers know them for ‘slimline’ seats in economy — is developing a business class seat that destroys germs.

Recaro Aircraft Seating says it’s developing a seat infused with a disinfectant that destroys almost every germ on contact within seconds.

These business class seats won’t just cleanse themselves, but will also somehow inform each incoming passenger how well it has done the job, Recaro CEO Mark Hiller said in an interview. The seats may debut within a year or two.

The innovation is in response to studies that consistently show almost everything inside an aircraft cabin is festering with bugs.

Add this seat alongside Boeing’s self-cleaning toilet and you turn an aircraft from a germaphobe’s nightmare into a place even bubble boy could spend 14 hours.

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Lavatory

The technology can’t come soon enough. At least airline blankets wrapped in plastic really are clean

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. There will never be a sanitary aircraft seat or cabin. The best one can do is to insulate oneself from the germs that are ever present. To that end hand sanitizer seems like the best option.

    Delta finally adopted my idea and now includes a small bottle of hand sanitizer in its business class amenity kits. If airlines provided sanitizer they could save water (weight) and do a better job of preventing tge transmission of getms. Plus sanitizer is cheap.

  2. I love how pretty much all travel bloggers like to call themselves as “germaphobe”, but love to spend long times in a seat that can be hardly cleaned completely or have it’s fabric changed as the sheets in a bed.

    It’s like: “I travel a lot but I am sooo clean”.

    Dude, the amount of different germs that you carry by going to all these places in the world would have more data germ than a Google data storage center. #justsayin

    Just praise your immune system, ok?

  3. I guess I go to all sorts of crazy places and do all sorts of crazy things, and so a seat belt buckle that hasn’t been sanitized since someone else touched it is low on the list of things I fret about.

  4. Fun tip: bring luminal spray bottle and UV flashlight on next flight . Watch hilarity ensue

  5. I use sanitize wipes on belt buckles and the bells. As well as the head, armrests and tray table and latch! And of course, good old hand sanitizer upon returning to my seat after using the lavatory.

Comments are closed.