Apparently, there’s something about high altitude that encourages the removal of clothing, both for brief moments of adventure and leisurely flights of nudity. Two in three Australians are or want to be members of the prestigious Mile High Club, and travel agents in Germany are currently accepting reservations for a July 5 nudist flight. The passengers will have to don clothing when boarding and departing, but for the rest of the flight, they need nothing but their birthday suits.
While I think achieving your goals (no matter how lofty) and being comfortable in your own skin (and nothing else) is both admirable and desirable, I have some serious health-reservations about mid-air-baring. An airplane is not exactly a shining example of cleanliness. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. One person’s sneeze can spread germs three to five rows ahead of and two to three rows behind him. A cough, while not as far-reaching, is similarly infectious. And it’s not just the air that becomes contaminated. It’s the surfaces – the seats, the trays, the arm rests – the areas on the plane that are usually blocked by one or two layers of clothing. The bathroom is the worst. Everything in it from the door handle to the faucet to the toilet itself is alive with bacteria. The more you touch the more likely you are to become ill.
So despite the overwhelming temptation to remove your clothing on an airplane, I wouldn’t recommend it. Nudist flights don’t seem like a bright idea, what with the bare skin that will make contact with every surface on the plane, and Mile High initiations tend to take place in the dirtiest parts of the aircraft. If you really can’t resist the urge or have to do something to save face with the boys at work, I would suggest making your Mile High membership a one-time event. And afterwards, sanitize yourself! Actually, regardless of whether or not your clothes stay on for the flight, sanitize. Make hand sanitizing gel (in 3 oz. bottles or less) the most important part of your carry-on bag, and you’ll land at your destination none the worse for wear.