Always choose the aisle seat on a flight? You might reconsider after reading this research.

A leader in infectious diseases has said the aisle seat is the germiest seat on the plane, thanks to the number of people you’re exposed to as they walk by.

Chuck Gerba, a microbiologist from the University of Arizona, told io9 that people should avoid aisle seats as you’re more likely to come in contact with, and be contaminated by, other passengers on your flight.

when members of a tour group with norovirus came down with symptoms of uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea during a flight from Boston to Los Angeles.

The illness was so serious the plane had to make an emergency landing in Chicago to take the infected passengers to hospital. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US contacted all passengers on the plane to establish if anyone else had contracted the virus from the flight.

Their findings showed the majority of the people who had caught norovirus were sitting in an aisle seat as they were more likely to have made contact with the infected passengers who were walking back and forth to the bathroom. Gerba also suggests that passengers hold onto aisle seats when walking to help keep their balance, increasing the risk of contamination.

This might change the way you fly from now on.