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Flying during the flu season – tips to stay flu-free

Article published
29.1.2019 at 09:00
Soapy hands rubbing together.
Finavia does the utmost to ensure cleanliness at airports, but there are a few also simple things passengers can do to stay flu-free and be mindful of fellow passengers.

The winter season is great for travelling to skiing destinations in the North or to the South for some sunshine. Unfortunately, the winter months are also the prime of the flu season. As airports and aircrafts see a constant flow of passengers, much like many other public spaces, it’s important that facilities are kept clean and that everyone is considerate of their fellow passengers.

Cleanliness is a priority for the airport

Finavia does its utmost to ensure great cleanliness and hygiene protocols at Finnish airports, in accordance with health officials’ requirements. All surfaces at the airport are cleaned daily, and all security checkpoint trays are washed regularly.

“For hygiene purposes, wiping contact surfaces is an important issue for us. As the number of passengers to our airport has increased, we have increased the cleaning frequency to maintain hygiene and cleanliness,” says Katri Koivukoski, Service Manager at Finavia.

Helsinki Airport has even tested a real-time feedback system for bathroom cleanliness to ensure a quick clean-up to untidy restrooms.

To help keep hygiene levels high and avoid catching or spreading the flu, there are also a few simple and practical precautions that passengers can take.

Remember to wash your hands

“The most important thing that passengers can do is to wash their hands well with soap,” says Katri Koivukoski. “This way, you can avoid catching the flu and reduce the risk of infection spreading to other people.”

Be mindful when you sneeze

There is a consensus among health officials that if you need to sneeze or cough, it’s best to do it in the crook of your elbow to help prevent possible spread of germs. Nowadays, this guidance is taught to children as part of a larger move to bring about more hygienic practices in public spaces.

“When you cough or sneeze, it’s good to use a tissue,” Koivukoski says.

You’re sick but you’ve got a plane to catch – to fly or not to fly?