Man at the Airport with Suitcase walking to flight gate

Gifts aren’t the only things hiding during the holiday season. A recent study, reported by, found that the average airport self-check-in screen contained 253,857 colony-forming units of bacteria, and airport gate arm rests harbored more than 21,630. Cintas Corporation released its top tips for reducing the spread of infection-causing germs during the holiday season.

“With millions of people moving through high-traffic areas like bus stops, train stations and airports for the holidays, infection prevention should be top of mind,” said Jillian Bauer, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “To curb the spread of germs and harmful bacteria, travelers must arm themselves with information and implement best practices and facilities should increase the frequency of their cleaning efforts.”

The top tips for infection prevention during the holiday travel season include:

 • Avoid high-touch surfaces when possible. Airport water fountains, security trays, airplane restrooms and in-flight comfort items like magazines, blankets and pillows can be breeding grounds for germs. Minimizing contact with these items or using disinfectant wipes on them can help reduce the spread of infection.
 • Use technology to your advantage. According to a Harris Poll, more than half of Americans (56 percent) feel it can be difficult to find a clean restroom while on the road. Cintas’ free mobile restroom-finder app, Got to Go, helps travelers easily find clean restrooms in their vicinity and rate them based on cleanliness. Users can filter the results by location and get directions to the selected restroom.
 • Increase hand hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water as often as possible, especially before and after contact with high-tough surfaces. If water is unavailable, use portable hand sanitizer or standalone or wall-mounted dispensers in a facility.
 • Avoid travel when feeling sick. Keep your distance from people who may be contagious before your trip, and cancel travel plans if you’re feeling under the weather. If you must travel while sick, remember to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and throw away tissues after each use.