The Bag Of Barf

January 8, 2010

in Attendant & Pilot Stories

I’ve had a lot of bad flying experiences in my life but only one of them ever had to do with the flight crew which honestly was the worst experience I’ve had. It was on a 5am flight from Alberta, Canada back home to Minnesota. I was with my best friend with her mom and sister sitting in front of me.

This flight from the get go was full of turbulence and after eating a few doughnuts after a long night of drinking my best friend started looking a little sick. I asked her if she had to get to the bathroom but it was too late she got sick in the barf bag in front of her.

Trying to make her feel better about getting sick, I told her it was fine and the flight attendant would get it so I hit the button to call for them. After sitting for 10mins with a bag of barf in front of us the FA annoying walked over. I told her that the turbulence upset my friend’s stomach and she got sick (my friend was laying with her head on the window looking like death while I pointed her out). She looked at me like she never heard of someone getting sick before. She then told us she would come right back with a bag so I thanked her and went back trying to make my friend feel better.

Twenty mins pass as my friend is now feeling better. With color returning to her face she points out how long it had been on her watch. So I hit the button again thinking she must of forgotten no big deal so another 10mins go by and here she comes. I asked her if she got a bag so we could throw it out. She again said no and that she’d be back in 5mins. I said no problem.

Yet another 20mins (I was so glad she wore her watch that day) pass and I hit the button. This time she storms over pissed off. I look at my friend with the what did we do look. She comes over and I again ask her if she had a bag which at this point was starting to smell nasty. She then asks me why I didn’t get up and throw it away. I pointed out that 1) It was not my barf and I wasn’t gonna touch it 2) The person next to us took sleeping pills before we took off blocking our way out. She then again tells me it will be 5mins and to put it on the floor which I don’t think was a good idea on such a bumpy flight.

This goes on for literally 2 hours. I am now hitting the button every 10mins. Her attitude just keeps getting worse much like the smell of the barf. Finally she brings over 2 trash bags while wearing gloves. So my friend goes to hand it to her. She pulled the garbage bag away saying she wasn’t gonna touch it then handed the bag but no gloves to me. Like I said before I wasn’t gonna touch it so I held the bag out to my friend then I handed it to the flight attendant who grabbed it almost smacking the guy sleeping in the face with a bag of barf. Poor guy never knew.

While the plane was getting ready to land the FA came over to us saying she couldn’t take the barf because she was eating breakfast and that it was gross. (Apparently breakfast is a 2hr event.) Never once did she apologize. Needless to say when we landed we called the airline telling them our tale. Even they agreed it was totally wrong and sent the family 2 free tickets worth $300 apiece so at least the airline was nice.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

really? January 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I am sorry, it's not the flight attendant's job to take bodily fluids from you. I would hate to see someone pick up a bag of puke from someone who was sick and then serve me food and drinks. Also, your friend got sick because of drinking to much and eating dounuts, get up and throw it away yourself. Your not helpless and this was a self induced problem, get up and take it to the bathroom where it belongs. No apology was needed.


alexxx January 9, 2010 at 4:03 am

I agree. People are nasty. They eat and drink like gluttonous pigs and then expect others to clean up after them when they can't handle themselves. Grow up. It's a flight attendant, not a janitor. Get the F up and throw it out yourself.


GMMR January 9, 2010 at 4:25 am

She's a flight attendant what does she expect. How hard is it for the flight attendant to get a garbage bag to get rid of the puke? Being a flight attendant is not always about looking good and saying “thank you for flying with us”. When you work for a living sometimes your job requires you to doing things that aren’t very pleasant, so get over, do the task and move on. It would have taken her 30 seconds to get a trash bag and throw it away. Instead, the flight attendant turns it into a huge issue. The guy wasn’t asking the flight attendant to examine it for content he wanted to get rid of it so that everyone else could have a pleasant flight experience.


Georgiaonmymind June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Many long years ago (in the 30's – before my time), flight attendants were RN's and as such I would assume they would be expected to handle barf bags. When did this change? I know they aren's RNs anymore, but barf bags are barf bags.



Jodie January 9, 2010 at 5:00 am

I could go either way here. On one hand the friend puked as a result of eating too much and not just because she got motion sickness. If the friend was feeling better why wasn't she able to throw the vomit out herself? The submitter certainly didn't want to touch the bag of puke themselves so they can't expect the flight attendant to be all that thrilled to dispose of it. On the other hand, a flight attendant should be used to having to throw away bags of puke since sick bags are provided. It would have been easier to just throw it away and get it over with instead of making a giant issue out of it.


joe January 9, 2010 at 6:18 am

technically barf is bodily fluids and according to rules it needs to be at the seat in a bio hazard bag. not thrown out


GMMR January 9, 2010 at 6:44 am

In a closed cabin at 20,000 feet, call it what you want. All the guy was asking for was a bag to put it in so the rest of the passengers didn’t have to smell it.


JoJo January 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

Only bodily fluids containing visible blood need to be disposed of in a biohazard container.


really? January 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm

It’s yours, throw it away…..makes me sick just thinking about taking a grown adult’s bodily fluid away


crella January 12, 2010 at 12:33 am

A 'few' donuts? Sheesh…that's asking to get sick.


Demotage January 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I have my own FFH barb bag story that I hope Gregg will post at some time. Let's just say a bag of someone else's barf is worse than a bag of your own.


Hawaiian February 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Lesson number one: Never repeatedly hit the FA Call Button every 10 minutes for two hours. Unless of course you are just trying to annoy the FA's.

Advice: Get off your ass and throw the bag of barf out yourself!

Advice 2: If you are stupid enough to get too drunk the night before flying home, you deserve every minute of misery coming your way!


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