Naomi Campbell uses disinfecting wipes to clean her airplane seat: weird or nah?

British Fashion Council Photocall held at the Ritz Hotel

I enjoy Naomi Campbell in the same way I enjoy Mariah Carey or the late Elizabeth Taylor. They are/were unapologetic divas who never tried to pretend to be down to earth. So imagine my surprise that Naomi would actually deign to show the world what her daily life is really like. Naomi is still a working model who travels for work constantly. I imagine she travels for pleasure constantly too, as she says in this video that she just loves to fly. In this video, Naomi shows her travel habits, from her airport candy shopping (a bag of Twix and I think a bag of gummies), to her germophobia once seated on the airplane. She seems to be traveling from Nice, France to Doha, Qatar, so some of her impulse-airport purchases are probably duty-free. Which might explain her browsing/shopping at the top-line makeup shop. She also picks up a bunch of fashion magazines for the flight, and she happily points to all of the women of color on various fashion magazine covers. But the part that’s getting the most attention is where she cleans her seat – you can skip to the 3-minute mark, but the whole video is a lot of fun:

I mean… I don’t think she’s particularly crazy for using a disinfecting wipe to clean her little area at all? Airplanes are germ laboratories and there’s nothing worse than accidentally touching some sticky mess that the previous passenger left. I don’t even think her little face mask is weird either, I mean, at worst it just does nothing, but it obviously makes her feel better and hell, maybe it does stop some germs.

Some other things I enjoy: Naomi spreading the gospel of hydration throughout the video, and she’s downing so much water before she even boards the plane. I also enjoyed her being nice to all of the airport personnel – no diva tricks there! And she’s wearing super-comfortable-looking clothes to fly. I mean, I’m sure her outfit cost a fortune, but the ensemble is basically “good quality pajamas and sneakers.”

Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019/2020 - Valentino - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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80 Responses to “Naomi Campbell uses disinfecting wipes to clean her airplane seat: weird or nah?”

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  1. Eva says:

    I always get a flu/cold after a flight. I think it’s the mixture of dry air and bacteria circulating in the confined space. I’m usually not germ-phobic at all but I will copy Naomi’s routine for future flights.

    • lucy2 says:

      Me too. Just came back from a trip with a bad cold. Everyone on our flight home was sick too, I’ve never heard so much coughing and sneezing.

      • SomeDay says:

        My new age mama taught me to “bless the area”, “bless the food” etc when traveling. I’m
        Grateful to “trust in allah but tie up my camel”. Y’know? Wash hands wipe seats…but let it GO!!

    • IMUCU says:

      I wipe down everything around me once I get on the plane, but also, another thing that will help: point the AC nozzle slightly in front of you. This will lessen the chance of airborne germs getting to you. I also always use a saline nasal spray a couple of times on long flights. It helps to keep the mucus membranes moist & flushed (part of the reason to hydrate well too). In case someone is sick right around me, I do bring a face mask to put on, but I also take immunosuppressants, so I’m more susceptible.

      • Kco says:

        Everything you just said @IMUCU I do this all! I ALWAYS get strange side eyes from dudes sitting close by, but it puts me at ease. The only thing I dont do is hydrate 🙁 I hold my pee until I land, as I’ve never been in an airplane bathroom… I’ve looked in one last year enduring a stop over. But I try my damndest to limit what I touch.

      • theotherViv says:

        I do the same. I can’t afford to be sick when I travel for work and I sure don’t want to be sick while on holiday or coming back to the office. I travel a lot for work but if I was a supermodel making 10k a day at my destination I would be wearing TWO masks.
        People have looked at me as if I am crazy when I start my cleaning process and my husband sighs loudly, but he lets me disinfect HIS space too AND he wears a mask sometimes now- ever since his doctor told him to stop bitching about his after-vacation-flus and just wear a mask instead.
        Naomi is my hero. She is turning into a youtube phenomenon just like Iman is SMASHING her IGTV videos.

      • Vv says:

        I try to limit what I touch every time I travel (train, plane,metro). Sometimes I look around to see if someone is side-eyeing me, lol.

      • Tigerlily says:

        Me too. I have RA and am on immunosuppressing meds. Hate it. I was on a bus tour in Italy in May and despite my best efforts with sanitizing gel & wipes I caught a cold that another passenger arrived with. Luckily Italian pharmacists can prescribe antibiotics. Of course he didn’t want to until I said “RA, methotrexate”. A cold can go from plain head cold to bronchitis or other infection overnight for me.

    • Amy says:

      I used to too! And I travel a lot for work. I started using face masks (disposable, from Amazon, and I get the kind with charcoal that is even more filtering for chemicals)…and i look scary but I literally NEVER get sick. I went from almost always getting sick after a flight to literally never. it has been pretty impressive. These:

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      Yep, I’m with Naomi. Air travel is filthy, and there’s little that you can do about most of it: I caught “primary atypical pneumonia” on a packed Trans-Atlantic flight after being seated for hours beside a very ill woman in the windowseat who was hunched over and coughing and spitting into handkerchiefs. When I was first seated beside her, she was asleep, so I didn’t realize she was sick, I was just glad she wasn’t a talker. By the time it became apparent how ill she was, we were over the Atlantic and there was nowhere else on the plane to seat me. Now I at least make sure my seat and armrests and tray are clean, and taking a product like Emergen-C in the days before a flight is supposed to help your immune system, so I do that…but who knows if it really does any good? The most common risk in flying is contamination, not crashing.

    • Izzy says:

      I always carry a small pack of antibacterial wipes when I travel, and a facemask. If someone on the flight is coughing a lot, I put the mask on. I don’t care what others think, I got sick of constantly getting sick after I travel. And I travel a lot for work.

  2. Eliza says:

    I wipe the screen, table and arms. You literally touch and/or eat off those things the whole flight. Can’t hurt to clean a little.

    • Kateeeee says:

      I also do this every flight. A little travel pack of Clorox wipes and a hand sanitizer or antibacterial hand wipes are a must. People become animals in anonymous public spaces, and I’ve usually got kids in tow. Nothing worse than trying to travel with sick kids, or sick yourself.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree. The inside of airplanes NEVER get cleaned, and thousands of people sit in those seats. I have a little package of Clorox wipes I take with me.

    • hnmmom says:

      My family and I just traveled to Europe last month and I brought wipes for the airplane and the trains we were on. I had zero interest in anyone getting sick while we were traveling and I doubt the planes do a solid disinfection. On our flight out I actually offered wipes to all the people sitting around us. Not one of them said no and they all wiped down their areas.

  3. Anon says:

    So she’s flying commercial. That’s gotta sting.

  4. Laughysaphy says:

    Not weird at all. Y’all ever see a desperate parent change their baby’s diaper on the tray table or seat? Yeah. Wipe alllll of that down.

  5. Tiffany says:


  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    I love Naomi and yeah am with her on the planes seats things – having witness how people behave on a plane I would too. Like her I have put the blanket provided over the seat and I always make sure I have hand sanitiser. And I will be buying one of those face masks for flying.

  7. Marian E. Bayusik says:

    Well, after seeing that guy use the tablet with his feet on a plane, I don’t blame her.

  8. Becks1 says:

    I wipe down the seat and use hand sanitizer frequently on flights, and I’m not really a germophobe by any stretch of the imagination. But planes are gross lol.

    • Kumquat says:

      Looks like there’s a consensus that sani-wiping plane surfaces qualifies as normal.

      I once wiped the arms of my chair in a jury selection room and an older lady commented something to the effect that I was being a bit snobby. As if I was more precious and delicate than the rest of “unclean” general society.
      I see this as a small validation that I wasn’t being unreasonable

  9. tmbg says:

    Makes perfect sense to me. Anything used by the general public is filthy. I always wipe the belt buckle, tray table and arm rests.

  10. MellyMel says:

    Nah, not weird at all. She’s smart! I watched this video the other day and decided I’m going to start doing this. Planes are disgusting!

  11. Ally says:

    Yep, every plastic/smooth surface of your seat, armrests, window, screen, wall & headrest. Also Purell before you eat or touch your face. Haven’t gotten sick after a flight since I started doing this.

    The airlines have gotten super cheap and rushed about how they manage their schedules and you have to wonder how often and how carefully they clean the cabin interiors. There were stories a few weeks ago of passengers abandoned alone in locked planes – that tells you how thorough they’re being in checking planes, let alone cleaning them.

    • CuriousCole says:

      And the seatbelt! Everyone touches their seatbelt, I always go over the metal parts with a wipe. My boyfriend thought it was weird at first but– I don’t get sick after flying, even though I have an autoimmune disease. The cabins aren’t even vacuumed/slightly cleaned until they’re in for maintenance, so it’s best to assume surfaces are never regularly disinfected.

  12. Nicegirl says:

    Not weird to me! 😎

  13. Rhys says:

    Have you seen those people who go into the airplane bathrooms with their shoes OFF?? Like, they’d be wearing sock and go in there – that’s disgusting.

    I love all of what she does and I’m going to check out her YouTube channel now. I’ve caught myself wondering a lot about all of the stuff that people exhale and leave after themselves on the seats/handles.

    Hydration though – I’m all for it on the plane, BUT it makes you go pee every damn 10 minutes. How do you avoid a bursting bowels if the plane is stuck on the tarmac, as often happens before take off?

  14. Lindy says:

    Not weird. I say this after day 5 of the most brutal run with norovirus my family has ever had. We were at a children’s haircut salon Sunday for my 15 month old’s first haircut. Of course we washed everyone’s hands with soap and warm water once we got home (there were slides and toys to play with), but by then it was too late. The toddler came down with the stomach flu. We were up all night with him. Ended up in urgent care Monday evening. By Tuesday afternoon both my husband and I were down with it despite every possible precaution. And then came the 10yo. All 4 of us, violently sick. I’m finally coming up for air. I think the worst is over. I’m planning on wiping down every surface ever in every public place from now on. This was the worst.

  15. kerwood says:

    I don’t think it’s weird at all. People are NASTY.

  16. Rebecca says:

    Not weird to me, but I do the same thing minus the gloves – I use a fresh wipe or sanitizer – but I may add the gloves too!

  17. Nev says:


  18. Jb says:

    I don’t say this often when speaking about models but smart, very smart.

  19. manda says:

    I’ve seen people do this before and I have myself a few times, but I almost always forget to bring the wipes. I usually try to change out of my travel clothes or even shower right away if I can. I just feel so cruddy after I get off a plane

  20. BB says:

    YAS. I have obsessively cleaning every airplane seat/tray/seatbelt/armrest for years!! (Much to my family’s embarrassment)

  21. Sofia says:

    I do this, especially on my outbound flight (don’t want to be sick on vacation!). I’ve been even more diligent about it since following @passengershaming on Instagram. 😖 I toss a few Lysol wipes in a baggie and am good to go!

  22. 10KTurtle says:

    I got tired of catching the plague after every flight, so I started wiping everything down, too. The white Clorox wipes are brown after one pass! Nobody ever treats me like it’s weird- if someone is sitting next to me, they usually ask if they can use one too. Planes are never cleaned!

  23. Sam says:

    United allows disposable seat covers, honestly people sneeze, wipe themselves on the seats, or they get sick.

  24. Valerie says:

    Not weird.

  25. Mira says:

    I have been doing this for a decade on account of an autoimmune disease.. it works.
    It is a routine I carry forward to the hotel room as well to ensure I avoid getting ill as much as possible. People can be disgusting indeed.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Just commented below about my own autoimmune disease and the steps I take to eliminate as many germs as possible.You are smart doing what you do-Wishing you good health!💐😷💕💕😊

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I have a friend who has MS and she swears by nasal sprays when travelling. She uses it before she gets on and sometimes during the flight depending on the length – I did it when I last flew to the US and it worked for me. I didn’t get sick afterwards and I usually do.

    • Some chick says:

      I always make it a point to push the buttons in elevators with my elbows whenever possible. I have noticed this really helps! I also wash my hands even more than usual.

      there are people who don’t wash their hands after they use the restroom! no thanks!

    • Xio says:

      I also travel a ton for work and pleasure and I always wipe down my whole seat area, use Purell frequently, and use blankets, socks, and whatever I can to separate my body from everyone else. I also have an autoimmune disease and I got very sick with an upper respiratory virus while in the Dominican Republic last year – it took 3 weeks to get over it! I remain surprised that I am usually the only person around me wiping things down, but no one has ever said anything or looked askance.

  26. Spicecake38 says:

    Yeah this is normal and smart.Because I have Crohn’s disease and must sometimes run to a bathroom-any bathroom,because it can hit quick,and I don’t want to leave a disgusting mess after I leave I have a whole kit that’s in my purse-disinfectant wipes,mini Lysol spray,baby wipes,hand sanitizer,ziplock plastic bag in case I have to dispose of anything gross ,extra underwear and latex gloves.Sounds OTT,but I don’t want to use a filthy bathroom,nor do I want to leave one.

  27. Christine says:

    I doubt planes are cleaned that often or even cleaned well. The older I get the more I am grossed out by germs and how much people touch stuff when sick, without washing hands, etc. Like I will never again visit a public pool or hot tub after reading about how many people pee in those and fecal bacteria. I know when I was younger I more than once accidentally swallowed water and just thinking about it makes me gag. I have a huge bottle of hand sanitizer at my work desk and use it every time I have to leave because once I was walking into the bathroom as a guy was walking out of the men’s (which was next door) and he was ZIPPING UP so you know he didn’t wash his hands. Yuck!!!

  28. jennifer says:

    There was just some video in the news of a passenger with bare feet on a flight, using their bare feet on the video screen, and actually swiping with their feet. Gross. I always wipe down my space when flying because people like this are disgusting 🙂

  29. RG says:

    I’ve been wiping down my tray table, armrests, belt buckle, tv and headrest of my plane seat for years now. People on planes act as if they don’t know how to act in public. I’ve seen people put their nasty ass feet on tray tables, clip their finger nails, walk into the bathroom barefoot – gross! If you want to see crazy stuff on planes, follow @passengershaming in Instagram, you may want to disinfect everything you touch when you fly.

  30. M.A.F. says:

    This made me like her a little bit more. I was thinking of getting one those face masks just so my nose doesn’t get dry on the plane (I always wear a hoodie & pull what I can to cover my nose). And wiping down the area? Not a bad idea.

  31. Janey says:

    That was something I was going to do once I read an article about how gross the plane’s trays were. But then I always forget. Luckily I only travel like once or twice a year and haven’t really ever caught anything. But I will say, she does a THOROUGH job of wiping allll of that down. I’d probably like wipe a surface here or there and be done with it! lol.

  32. Beep says:

    All that disinfecting the airplane seat BUT USED TESTER LIPSTICK IN THE AIRPORT DUTY FREE SHOP? No. Just no.

    • Rhys says:

      I noticed that too but I wasn’t sure if she was just using her own at that moment 🙂

    • Turtledove says:

      I just came to comments to see if anyone else caught that. The way the video is edited, it is impossible to tell if she used the tester, or was just using the available mirror to reapply her OWN lipstick. But yes, it would be pretty insane if she was willing to use a lipstick tester on her mouth….and yet, wiped down every inch of her seat.

      That would be the weirdest example of a germaphobe ever.

  33. Diane says:

    This is a great idea – next flight I’m in….not weird smart.

  34. Lisa says:

    Super smart of her given that you never know how much or even if the plane was cleaned before your flight.

  35. SpeakActBeKind says:

    It’s a must.

    Also in hotel rooms on — of all things — the TV remote. You don’t want to know the stuff found on them.

    • ME says:

      Yup I clean EVERYTHING I know I’m going to touch in a hotel room. Those rooms are so gross. Even the bathroom is cleaned with one rag…that was used in multiple rooms…on the toilet, and then on the counter, etc. They don’t use a new rag for each thing or each room.

  36. Mirage says:

    She’s awesome!
    I’ve always found her very intimidating but actually, she is so fun!
    I believe in the goodness of bacteria though, and I never get sick. Because I don’t over protect myself. I think hand gel is actually toxic.

  37. ME says:

    NOT weird at all. Those seats and the food tray are f*cking disgusting. People change diapers on those food trays !!! I clean mine too.

  38. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I use alcohol wipes. Please don’t use other types of wipes unless you know for sure the active ingredient doesn’t cause supergerms, or that the surface (and your hands) needs to be rinsed with water after use. You also needs to use many wipes, because if you use the same wipe over a broad or multiple surfaces, you actually SPREAD the germs rather than kill them.

    But yeah, airplanes are filthy. Rather than wipes, it’s probably better to just wear rubber gloves, then discard/replace the gloves when eating or drinking. (Have you seen hospital workers wearing gloves all the time? That’s to protect THEM, not the patient. It’s more effective than wipes).

  39. MamaT says:

    I travel with both the wipes AND a travel sized can of lysol.

  40. gingersnaps says:

    I do the same as well. I wipe everything down that is possible with separate wipes and go through them twice or thrice. I even do that in my home, wipe and clean the light switches, door knobs, handles regularly. Too bad that isopropyl/ethyl alcohol are not widely available here in the UK as that was my go to disinfectant, now I use dettol, e-cloths or m&s cleaner to clean and sanitise.

  41. Golden says:

    Not weird at all! A good way to ensure you don’t get sick!

  42. Sue says:

    I just read an article suggesting what Naomi does. I will be doing something similar from now on. On a trip to Hawaii I contracted a flu that landed me in hospital for 4 days. Travel is wonderful but comes with a lot of health risks.

    Much of this year’s flu epidemic here in Australia is due to travellers bringing viruses home from overseas. My daughters and I are all about hand sanitizer now!

  43. Some chick says:

    Love that pink multiple pattern dress! Anyone got an ID?

  44. Caffenatedwench says:

    Yup! And NEVER EVER use the pens at a doctors’ office. Who goes to the Dr? Sick people. I bring my own.

  45. Annabel says:

    I don’t wipe down surfaces in planes, but this seems very reasonable to me. I Purell my hands before touching anything I’m going to eat. I hear people in my industry complaining about how they get sick every time they go to a convention, and I always feel like, “well, you shook hands with a hundred people and then stuck your hand in a bag of potato chips, what did you think was going to happen?”

  46. Dizzy says:

    I work on the front lines of the travel industry and yes, it’s dirty. The cleaners rarely and maybe never do a deep clean. But, I don’t get sick. I do constantly wash my hands and I recommend Emergence-C fizzy vitamins.

  47. Amy says:

    I work for an airline and travel a lot. I never go anywhere without disinfectant wipes and my hand sanitizer. I wipe down EVERYTHING. I won’t even touch the seat back card with ordering information till it’s been wiped down. I’ve seen feet used on seat back entertainment (tv screens!) and babies diapers being changed on the tray table. Nope. Nope. Nope. Just remember people are disgusting and bring your wipes!!!

  48. It’s the tray tables that are the culprit. Everyone touches them, and they never get cleaned.