Best seat on a plane if you want to try and avoid in-flight germs

Coronavirus outbreaks around the globe have been causing uncertainty for holidaymakers with travel plans.

We've got a guide on general coronavirus travel advice including if your holiday destination is affected, but generally if the FCO doesn't advise against travel to your destination, it's likely your trip will go ahead.

Although airlines have been forced to cancel flights , this is not because of a risk of infection, but rather because of changes to FCO travel advice to certain destinations advising against travel.

But if your flight isn't cancelled and you're going to be travelling, then you may want to try and bag the window seat.

That's because research by the FlyHealthy Research Team found that passengers in the window seats are less likely to come into contact with passengers – and reduce their overall risk of catching general infections.

The 2018 study was looking at general infection risks when it comes to flying, so it wasn't specific to coronavirus. (At the moment it's not known how coronavirus spreads from one person to another).

At the time, researchers found that the window seat can often be the one where you have the least risk of coming into contact with other passengers, and therefore a smaller risk of catching someone else's infection, including common colds.

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For example, you won't be near passengers walking up and down the aisle – especially if someone who is sick holds on to the armrests on their way to the lavatory. An armrest that the aisle passenger is then likely to touch.

Plus, anyone who's been in the window seats knows that you don't tend to get up to move around the cabin unless you really need to, if only because of the inconvenience of having to make others move too.

Now, sitting in the window seat doesn't mean that you're completely protected from germs; your seat choice doesn't give you automatic immunity from infections and the research notes that "the risks of transmission of respiratory viruses in an airplane cabin are unknown".

However, if you're in a window seat you could be helping put the odds in your favour when it comes to avoiding general in-flight germs.

Still, at the moment it's not known how coronavirus spreads. The NHS explains in its coronavirus guide : "Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food."

You can read more in our guide on how to avoid coronavirus .

We've also got coronavirus advice if there's an outbreak while you're on holiday, including your compensation rights if you get stuck abroad because of a quarantine.

Oh, and if you are flying you may want to take note of these general tips for avoiding in-flight germs .

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