The year was 1987 and I was flying from Lynchburg, VA to LaGuardia. I was flying on Piedmont Airlines and the flight from Lynchburg was on a Dash 8 to Baltimore with a quick stop in Charlottesville, VA.
In Charlottesville a family of three (Dad, Mom, 11 year old son) boarded the plane. I was in the back row and it so happened the kid sat next to me while the parents were in seats somewhere up front. The kid was pleasant enough and very excited about being on a plane, so we had some nice “airplane talk” during the flight. He also had a small bag of snacks that he quickly ate during the short flight. I distinctly remember a bag of chips, a Hershey bar, a King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and a pint of chocolate milk. There may have been more, but I definitely remember these items.
So the kid scarfed down these snacks and as we approached BWI we were placed in a holding pattern for 15 or 20 minutes and we were experiencing some mild to moderate turbulence during this time. I was enjoying the view out the window when I hear the kid say, “I’m not feeling so well.” I quickly removed the barf bag from the seat pocket and held it up to his face just as he began to puke up all the snacks he had just consumed. I, unfortunately, didn’t get it up there quite in time and some of the snacks made it onto my shirt and pants.
The parents who were up front were oblivious to this whole situation as was the flight attendant who was also strapped in up front during this time. I made the best of this bad situation and did the best I could until we landed, and at that point we were able to get everything cleaned up. The parents could not have been nicer and the dad gave me a $100 bill for my trouble. I told him this wasn’t necessary but he insisted. I appreciated him taking responsibility for his kid and the first thing I did in Baltimore was change my clothes. Fortunately, a few years earlier I had learned you should always carry a spare set of clothes in your carry-on.