bug spraying on airplanes?


Aug 4th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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bug spraying on airplanes?

I just heard that Air Seychelles sprays the airplanes for bugs before passengers are let off. I have this terrible image in my mind of oxygen masks falling from the ceiling and a fumigation team boarding the aircraft with big hoses. Yuck! Has anyone ever experienced this and if so, what's it like?
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Aug 4th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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Last year we flew Virgin to South Africa, and they walked around and sprayed the plane before takeoff. (The flight attendants just walked up and down the aisles spraying a can into the air.) There was very little odor.
I was surprised, as well, but no one seemed to blink an eye.
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Aug 4th, 2004, 11:18 AM
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When we were an hour out of the Seychelles, the BA attendent said they would be spraying the plane (we were flying from Kenya). I immediately left my seat for the lav and stayed for a good 20-30 minutes (this didn't delay any passengers who might have needed a lav, as there were maybe 75 pax on board). When I returned to my seat, I asked my friend about the spraying and she said she didn't smell anything and wasn't aware of any spraying!!!

Some years later when returning from Victoria Falls, via a SAA flight, the plane was sprayed and this time, even though I headed for the lav, I could smell a highly perfumed scent which took a while to dissipate. Our plane going to Vic Falls was not sprayed.

At one time, almost all airlines sprayed especially if coming from or going to certain countries - India, Jamaica, other Caribbean Is., Australia, etc. Flight attendents were required to hand over the spent canisters to the ground crews as soon as the plane doors were opened, as proof of spraying.

Unfortunately, lawsuits ensued, as what was being sprayed was actually "roach spray" and many crew members and passengers became ill. Thereafter, most airlines discontinued spraying except for a few countries, especially island countries. From friends who are now former flight crews - many eventually simply sprayed the cannisters down the lavs and handed in empty cannisters upon landing - to protect their own health.

Now, if anyone has ever set off a "roach bomb" in their home or apartment (or knows of someone who has) the instructions advise that you leave the space for a minimum of 3-hours - get the picture?

Though the current sprays are highly perfumed, the underlying product is still toxic to some people. There have been issues as to whether the planes should be sprayed with passengers on board, prior boarding passengers, or some alternate approach. Apparently, some airlines feel it's best to do with passengers on board.

I know I'm sensitive and do my utmost to avoid the sprays, though my travel partners have never had any reaction to these. But it is also important, these days, to consider whether all carriers should reinstitute spraying when you consider the many "flying things that hitch a ride on planes these days" - West Nile Virus?? Whether these diseases are coming from a passenger on board, luggage, or inside the plane while sitting empty on the runway - I certainly can't say, but travelers should be aware, inquire of this on their flights, and take precautions, as necessary (except, of course, heading for the exit door)!

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Aug 4th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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They sprayed the cabin on our flights between J-Burg and Maun, Botswana on the Air Botswana flights we took. It smelled more like a disinfectant to me than an insecticide...at any rate, it wasn't offensive, and I was so excited to be started on our first safari that it hardly registered in my mind until reading this After the safari, we were still kind of blissed-out, so again, while I do recall spraying, it wasn't particularly noticeable.
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Aug 4th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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Will we experience spraying on the planes going to Zanzibar from Tanzania and from Zanzibar to Nairobi? Thanks!
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Aug 4th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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I don't want to perpetuate fear, but I'm finding myself a little uneasy about this disinsection issue. I guess that's the price we pay for enjoying the beaches of Seychelles with no risk of malaria As a result, I'm becoming quite interested in ways to protect ourselves as passengers. I found this website... http://www.flyana.com/pest.html
It has some information on protecting ourselves and the procedure airlines use to kill pests. I've also read that pesticide is absorbed at a greater rate through ear canals, forehead, abdomen and crotch. I think I just may wear long pants and a ski hat on board I also think Sandi's idea about retreating to the bathroom is a good one... but there are only so many of them on board If anyone has more info on how to deal with this on flights, please share. This issue seems to affect passengers to exotic locations more than we realize.
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Aug 4th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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ms katydid -
Hopefully after reading some of these posts you have gotten rid of those visions of teams in biohazard suits boarding your plane. Back in May I think it was our flight from Livingstone to J-burg on Nationwide when they sprayed. It was rather amusing: They make a brief announcement that they are going to spray the plane and then the attendants start walking from one end of the aisle to the other with little aerosol cans (maybe 6 inches high) spraying upwards into the air. I think I found it entertaining because it looked like they were trying to smile and look relaxed but probably holding their breath the whole time. The only warning they gave us was you might want to close your eyes if you have contacts on. No warning about allergic reactions or anything like that. I think some passengers had already fallen asleep so they never even knew! In any case, they spray used on our flight had little or no scent and I have a pretty sensitive nose.
Good luck. Hopefully it will not be too traumatic for you.
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Aug 5th, 2004, 03:58 AM
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When we went to Botswana 5 years ago on SAA, just as jeorgiagirl said, they were already in the aisle with the spray cans ready when the announcement came over. You didn't have a chance to go anywhere. One can in each hand, facing each row of seats. I didn't have anything to bury my face in but my hands.
This April when we went, there was no spraying. Nada. I had carried a jacket to put over my face but I didn't need it. I don't know why they didn't spray. I didn't ask. Liz
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Aug 5th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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They sprayed our SAA flight on the way to London from Johannesburg. There was a brief announcement before a flight attendant ran through the cabin, a spray can in each hand, spraying us liberally. A little disconcerting but not to awful. I just pulled the blanket up over my face and held my breath for as long as I could. On coming up for air, I noticed a light perfumey scent. I also notice (could have been my imagination) a rather faint smell of insecticide. As I was in the same euphoric state as Uhoh_busted (first safari) I didn't get too upset.
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Aug 5th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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This used to be done on all flights just prior to landing in Australia. The flight attendants would warn you to cover your nose & mouth if you wanted and then they would walk throught the cabin with spray cans. This no longer happens
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Aug 5th, 2004, 03:30 PM
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We got sprayed when leaving Hoedspruit returning to Jo'Berg. I didn't really smell anything, but the idea of it bothered me. They wouldn't tell us what it was for and asking other airline personnel on the way home, they said they didn't know. Odd.
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