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falstaff
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How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:12 am

The other day I was talking with my mom about what to get my dad for Christmas and she suggested a small pillow and blanket for when he travels. I said that dad has been using the airline's pillows and blankets since 1969 and they seem ok to him. Mom went on about how they don't get washed very often. That made me wonder do they ever get washed? If so how often?

I figured I better ask the experts at a.net.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
travatl
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:16 am

As someone whose worked in the airline industry since 1990, trust me, get your dad the travel blanket and pillow.
 
nwa757boy
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:18 am

Blankets at NW are every 30 days.....Same with Continental, CO has tags on their blankets showing the date it was made or delivered I guess either way I would NEVER use an airline blanket they are a cess pool of diseases.
 
safetyDemo
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:21 am



Quoting Travatl (Reply 1):
As someone whose worked in the airline industry since 1990, trust me, get your dad the travel blanket and pillow.

I second that opinion. When people ask me about blankets or pillows on my aircraft (which we don't have) I always tell them they are better off without one!

-safetyDemo
Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:48 am

Well, I can't speak for all airlines. However, I work as a Cabin Service Agent, and part of my job is doing the pillows and blankets.

Pillows: Basically at the end of every flight when we get on the plane we collect all the pillows that were used, take off the old cover, put on a fresh one, and put it back in the overhead bin where it belongs. After a while some of them get a little worn out, and in that case we simply put the pillow in the garbage. Every now and then we bring new pillows on board and make the bin full again, to make up for ones that get lost/worn out/stolen/etc over time.

Blankets: At the end of every flight we restock the aircraft with clean ones, and take the used ones off with us. When we aren't on the planes part of our job also is to wash said blankets, and then when they are clean and dry we fold them, bag them, and put them in the clean bin ready to go back on a plane.

Seems to work quite well for us, but then again with only 6 airplanes, and some not used every day, and some flts being freighters, a busy day we might have to do 5-15 blankets and 20-30 pillows, but often it's less than that.


CanadianNorth
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Cory6188
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:55 am

I don't know what they do on other airlines, but anytime I fly CO and watch as the aircraft is serviced for a turn, I always see the cabin cleaners toting huge bags of fresh pillows and blankets as they walk up the jetway stairs into the cabin...in fact, just this morning on my EWR-BOS flight, I saw them go up with pillows and blankets neatly organized in big plastic bags....and then they came out about 15 minutes later with bags filled with a jumbled mess of pillows and blankets. My guess is that they take off all the old ones and bring new stuff aboard for each flight.

But as a side note, it definitely seemed a little ridiculous to have pillows and blankets on EWR-BOS. The flight was a whopping 38 minutes, and nobody took any out of the overhead bins -- that just seemed like a waste of money to me. I know that CO tries to provide full amenities, but there are some areas where you can make cuts and nobody will care.
 
Curiousflyer
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:02 am

Well if the pillows and blankets are not used on a 38mn flight, they might be used on the next flight, they are not that heavy, I really appreciate the fact that CO has them.

When I fly AF, they usually have clean blankets and pillows it seems. The blankets heavily smell of detergent, it is a bit tacky but comforting, better that than BO!
 
September11
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:03 am

I like it when airlines provide clean/new cabin pillows and blankets in sealed packages.
Airliners.net of the Future
 
travatl
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:12 am



Quoting September11 (Reply 7):
I like it when airlines provide clean/new cabin pillows and blankets in sealed packages

Honestly, so do we, and sometimes we do (but no ariline does it on every flight). In this age of consumer-price-driven travel, the passenger would be much better buying a $5 neck pillow, and dressing in layers, or bringing their favorite binkie aboard.
 
Super80DFW
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:19 am

Whenever you wash them! (If they say Skybus on them)  Wink
"Things change, friends leave, life doesn't stop for anybody." -- EAT'EM UP EAT'EM UP KSU!!
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:29 am



Quoting Travatl (Reply 8):
the passenger would be much better buying a $5 neck pillow

Best thing ever created for sleeping on a plane. Airline pillows are completely useless unless it's used to pad your head against the wall if you have a window seat. Even then, the inflatable neck pillow beats it hands down.
What the...?
 
D328
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:53 am



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 10):
Best thing ever created for sleeping on a plane. Airline pillows are completely useless unless it's used to pad your head against the wall if you have a window seat. Even then, the inflatable neck pillow beats it hands down.

 checkmark 
 
Phoenix9
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:01 am

Aren't there regulations about this? I have never gotten a dirty blanket or pillow but I can imagine that dirty blankets and pillows may just be teeming with bacteria and viruses: cold, flu and oh ya...who can forget SARS scare!! Does the airline really want to take a chance making so many PAX sick and then getting sued??
Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
 
YLWbased
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:52 am

CX have their blanket in sealed plastic bags and place them on your seat on every single flight. And it smells new or freshly washed when i use them. Can anybody from CX confirm this?
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:07 am

On every flight I've taken in Asia, there has always been a sealed pillow/blanket combo on me seat. I don't know if they've been cleaned to specs but the blanket is always folded nicely and smells clean.
What the...?
 
PanHAM
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:22 am

LH has every used blanked washed and packed into a clean plastic bag. They contract that out to a servicen provider.

General rule - if a blanket is not given to you in a clean and sealed plastic bag, don't use it.
powered by Eierlikör
 
FURUREFA
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:30 am



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 15):
General rule - if a blanket is not given to you in a clean and sealed plastic bag, don't use it.

Same with American; if it ain't in a sealed pillow pack, it ain't clean.


Matt
 
NWAESC
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:12 am



Quoting NWA757boy (Reply 2):
Blankets at NW are every 30 days.....Same with Continental, CO has tags on their blankets showing the date it was made or delivered I guess either way I would NEVER use an airline blanket they are a cess pool of diseases.

On the Int'l flights, the blankets are "new" (at least freshly laundered), and the pillows have new covers on them.

On domestic routes, there are no pillows, and the blankets shouldn't be used for anything besides a floor mat if the forward galley is wet.  Smile
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
georgiaame
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:09 pm

To put it mildly, in my profession, I wash my hands alot. But really, people aren't dropping like flies from communicable diseases after flying on an aircraft. We had something like 2 million people passing through Hartsfield this weekend. If 2000 became sickened from using blankets/pillows, that would still be less than 0.1% getting ill, and 2000 sickened people x similar figures throughout the US this holiday weekend would displace even the nastiest political news of the day.

I agree, the idea is less than appetizing, in fact, it is really kind of gross. But it is hardly the amount of filth required to sicken people. If sitting next to Mr and Mrs Stinky, barefoot, sweaty armpitted, lardbottoms with the unwashed tank tops doesn't get you sick (I said sick, not nauseous), a dirty recycled "blanket" won't do it either. Unless the last passenger had smallpox, and even then, chances are good you won't get it.

Any chance than my entry can be the last on this really yucky thread?
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:19 pm



Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 18):
Any chance than my entry can be the last on this really yucky thread?

No...no chance at all...
What the...?
 
iairallie
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:05 pm

Most carriers put fresh ones on after every long haul or everyother longhaul flight. For domestic flights who knows. Jet blue seems pretty good about replacing them frequently. I bring my own inflatable pillow and use my over coat or a pashmina as a blanket. I'll use the airplane ones if there are no obvious stains but only over my legs never near my face.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:14 pm

On the other hand, how many take their own blankets to a hotel? Mmmmmm...another pleasant image.
What the...?
 
Orion737
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:18 pm

I have yet to get an airline blanket smelling of Comfort or for our US friends, Downy!
 
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falstaff
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:24 pm



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 21):
On the other hand, how many take their own blankets to a hotel? Mmmmmm...another pleasant image.

I know hotels wash the sheets daily if a new guest is checking in that room, but I do not know about the blankets and bed spread.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 18):
lardbottoms with the unwashed tank tops

I'm glad I don't fly that airline.

The only time I ever sat next to a person with a tank top was in 1999 and it was in F. They were thin and clean.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
tcfc424
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:47 pm

Working at a line station, pillows and blankets are replaced after/before each flight. Are they clean? I don't know but they are folded all nice and neat...better than our cleaners could do. I don't know how/when they get washed, but we seem to have a pretty large stock of both available.
 
SBBRTech
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:50 pm



Quoting Travatl (Reply 1):
As someone whose worked in the airline industry since 1990, trust me, get your dad the travel blanket and pillow.

 laughing  oh no, if my wife reads this i will get 10 yrs worth of "i told you so" thrown on me at once...
"I'm beginning to get the hang of this flying business" - C3PO
 
Orion737
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:52 pm

Sniff for Downy or Lenor first.
 
greenair727
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:55 pm

Just read a post on airlinecity where the author said he was a on flight when the cleaning crew came on for a JRO-DAR-AMS flight and he said "pillow cases were not changed". He was on the plane as it was still in revenue service as he was coming from AMS to DAR--apparently, the "to DAR" and "to AMS" flights overlap--see story here:

http://www.airlinecity.com/2007/11/2...-flight-number-in-both-directions/
 
LH526
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:14 pm

Well, we have talked pillows and blankets ... nobody mentioned the seat fabric and cushion, who are made of similar fabric ....
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:22 pm



Quoting YLWbased (Reply 13):
CX have their blanket in sealed plastic bags and place them on your seat on every single flight. And it smells new or freshly washed when i use them. Can anybody from CX confirm this?

This is true for AC long haul flights as well. They are washed after every flight.


Kris
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:42 pm



Quoting LH526 (Reply 28):

At least the seat fabric isn't in your face...unless...well, let's not go there...
What the...?
 
jfk69
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:03 pm

I have a question for you all. I am flying air pacific in Jan fron LAX - NAN. I am figuring, small airline, few routes, they probably give clean blankets and pillows everytime?

Am I wondering correctly here?
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:09 pm



Quoting JFK69 (Reply 31):
Am I wondering correctly here?

Spend the 5 bucks and get an inflatable neck pillow. Trust me on this. It's the number one bit of kit to consider when flying over a couple of hours.

Then that's one worry out of the way. I've never seen a dirty blanket handed out but maybe I've been lucky. If it's sealed, you're good to go. If not...ask for a clean one. I think you'll probably be ok.
What the...?
 
uaord2000
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:11 pm

At UA, clean pillows and blankets are provisioned on EVERY flight over 4.5 hours (transcon) and EVERY international segment. On the small percentage of the fleet (737's) that do not operate flights of that length, the replacement schedule is every 7 days.
 
LH526
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:29 pm



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 30):
At least the seat fabric isn't in your face...unless...well, let's not go there...

Just turn your head sideways while sleeping ... there you go.

Touch the seat cushion once while reaching for your pockets or the seat belt, and your hands get's nearer to where another individuals rear-part has been than anywhere else.
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
 
nwa744tpa
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:32 pm

In 20 years , it has been my experience that if the blanket is not sealed (clean), then the only place for it to go is behind your back for support. Fresh pillows and blankets are provisioned for every international flight, but domestically, it's a different story. They can tell me whatever the want, but some of them look like they've been flying around for years.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:35 pm



Quoting Uaord2000 (Reply 33):
On the small percentage of the fleet (737's) that do not operate flights of that length, the replacement schedule is every 7 days.

Sweet Buddha...it's possible to get a lot of icky stuff on a blanky in a week..."We wish you a fluey xmas...".
What the...?
 
LXA340
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:01 pm

True usually with all premium airlines when you request a blanket or it is already on your seat it is always fresh and inside a plastic bag. However I am not so sure about the pillows and seat covers now also talking about LH for instance. On a segment FRA - TLV - FRA I have a feeling those things don't get changed during the turn around in TLV first when back in FRA. The same with longer flights to JFK or HKG for instance are the pillows and seat covers really changed or only back at FRA?
 
FI642
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:04 pm

In my station every time a bird comes through all the blankets are removed
to be laundered, and fresh ones in plastic bags are put on. Pillow cases are
changed every time a bird rolls in.

If the blanket isn't in plastic, it's not clean. If the pillowcase doesn't look
crisp, it's not clean either.
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
Bartonsayswhat
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:17 pm

when QX is groomed at my station, procedure is just to pick em up off of what ever they're on, fold em and toss em in the overhead. what ever happens when they get to their base station is beyond me. also, the pillows are roughly the thickness of my hand when its flat, so i would need between six and nine pillows. the Q400 does not contain the necessary 440 pillows to provide everyone that standard
 
MEA-707
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:22 pm



Quoting JFK69 (Reply 31):
I am flying air pacific in Jan fron LAX - NAN. I am figuring, small airline, few routes, they probably give clean blankets and pillows everytime?

I flew them this month and it is a good small airline, they should be clean or at least above industry average.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
SNAFlyboy
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:04 pm



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 30):
At least the seat fabric isn't in your face...

Good point...if those seats aren't going to get you sick, the blankets probably won't either...
All of the flights I've serviced were domestic, so I don't know about international flights, but I would have to agree with the general consensus: if the blanket's not sealed or the pillow case appears "worn", don't use 'em!  crazy 

One thing I've always wondered about: for domestic airlines, are there specific airports where "blanket-washing" is done? While I haven't been snooping around or anything, I've only seen one washing facility at SNA. Do airports have communal washing facilities or do airlines specifically own them and wash blankets only at certain airports? Any ideas?

~SNAFlyboy
 
mcamargo
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:59 pm



Quoting NWAESC (Reply 17):
On domestic routes, there are no pillows, and the blankets shouldn't be used for anything besides a floor mat if the forward galley is wet.  

I don't know about you, but every time I fly CO mainline in the US, I always see blankets and pillows, and in about half the cases the blankets are still wrapped in plastic. But definitely always pillows (in fact, i always see more pillows than blankets available).

On COEX flights, I always see blankets, but can't remember pillows, but I have used one on an expressjet flight before (DFW-CLE), so I'd assume that they're there.
I live for the day mainline returns to BRO...
 
TheCol
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:01 pm

All the airlines I have worked with either re-use their blankets or throw them away. The pillows are re-used, but the pillow cases are thrown out and replaced.

Quoting Travatl (Reply 1):

Agreed. Better than getting a used one on one of his flights.

Quoting Phoenix9 (Reply 12):

Not that I'm aware of, though I'm sure some health standards would come into play on a passenger aircraft.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
Yankees
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:24 pm

When I fly AA business class on either the 767 or the 777 they have fresh duvets in plastic covers.
B733,B738,B752,B762,B763,B777,MD80,CRJ,CR7,ATR,ER3,ERD,ER4,A319,A320,A321
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:34 pm



Quoting Travatl (Reply 1):

I third that motion... When I worked in MKE, I would have people ask ME when I was in the jetway when the blankets get washed. It was then I told them "I honestly don't know."
Puhdiddle
 
Evan767
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:36 pm

That's why I prefer leather seat covers. Much easier to clean/disinfect and it is likely to happen more often than cloth seats.
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:53 pm



Quoting Evan767 (Reply 46):
That's why I prefer leather seat covers. Much easier to clean/disinfect and it is likely to happen more often than cloth seats.

While that may be true, Leather is also more expensive to maintain. Airlines like to keep their planes looking at least somewhat presentable, so, when leather starts-a-crackin, its time to replace it. Thats not to say Cloth can't get holes in them.

My final consensus though is that I would prefer leather... just sharing my P.O.V.
Puhdiddle
 
goomba
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:07 am

On Delta for a 5 hour ATL to SFO flight, I can't even buy food on board...all I get for a 5 hour flight is a small blue cardboard box with raisins and a spoonful of granola. If this is all I can expect from DL for food...rest assured I know those blankets on that plane are like a petri dish.

Those blankets probably get washed less frequently than Delta changes their paint schemes on their aircraft.
 
Evan767
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RE: How Often Do Pillows/blankets Get Washed?

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:21 am



Quoting Goomba (Reply 48):
On Delta for a 5 hour ATL to SFO flight, I can't even buy food on board...all I get for a 5 hour flight is a small blue cardboard box with raisins and a spoonful of granola. If this is all I can expect from DL for food...rest assured I know those blankets on that plane are like a petri dish.

Those blankets probably get washed less frequently than Delta changes their paint schemes on their aircraft.

Was that really necessary or were you just trying to fit in an attempt to bash Delta on all counts?
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...