It's no secret that airports and planes are ripe for germs. After all, thousands of people travel through airports every day.
But the germiest place in the airport isn't the bathrooms or the seats at the gate.
It's the check-in kiosk.
According to Insurance Quotes, the average self check-in screen at three major U.S. airports contained 253,857 Colony-Forming Units (CFU) – over 13 times more than the average CFU of an airport water fountain button.
One check-in screen recorded over 1 million CFU. In comparison, an average of only 172 CFU are found on toilet seats.
“C’mon man...I just checked in - you're tripping," traveler James Thomas Jr. said when News4 told him the germy news.
"Cool, now I’m scratching my face," he said.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said passengers should wash their hands.
"It’s expected that high-use objects in the airport are going to be dirty as well,” Andrew Tull, a spokesperson for MWAA, said.
Airport leaders say they do have cleaning crews 24 hours a day.
But medical professionals say travelers shouldn't worry about the germs as long as they practice good hygiene.