Stewing in Germ Filled Slime

March 15, 2011

in Illness/Medical Stories

OK, just got back from a week away. On my final flight home (a little prop job) I encountered a family that was a bit disturbing.

It started at the gate waiting for my connecting flight. A family of 7 entered the gate area (grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, 4 year old, 18 month old, infant) traveling together. I must say, the uber-stroller they had to hold the two young ones was pretty impressive. They plop down on the seats across from me (about 3 feet away). Mom just pulls the infant out, lays him down, and begins to change the diaper right there on the seats at the gate. Pretty disgusting to watch and smell, so I take a walk.

They pre-board the flight.

Well, I ended up in the row right behind father and 18 month old. The others are in the rows ahead. It is now obvious the entire family is sick. They are all coughing, sneezing, sniffing, and spewing. But the guy ahead of me is the worst. He sniffs and snorts every 5 seconds (ever hear of blowing your nose?). He continuously wipes his nose on his hands and arms and then wipes his arms on his pants, the back of the seat in from of him, etc. He keeps putting his arm around his kid’s seat and placing his hand on the wall in my row. This is the same hand that he has been wiping his nose with constantly. Sniff, snort, sneeze, wipe, repeat.

Then his child tosses a pacifier he’s had in his mouth between the seats and onto the floor in front of me (yes infant is sick too). Snot filled dad simply turns around, leans over, and starts feeling around my feet with his arms which are covered in nose slime, all while sticking his face directly in front of mine and shouting “Heeeeeey, can you reach that.” Before he can finish, I’ve kicked the pacifier to him under the seat so that this disgusting torture ends as quickly as possible.

I am praying I don’t come down with anything. I showered as soon as I got home. I really feel sorry for the folks who sat in that row on the next flight. They were literally going to be stewing in germ filled slime.

It is obvious to me that this family is at the stage where, given the age of the kids, everyone is sick all the time. That is just how it goes with young kids. But that is no excuse for living in a bubble and practicing no hygiene whatsoever in public places.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Germaphobe March 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

It's a shame you didn't inform the flight crew so they could clean the airplane before the next flight.


Peace Lover March 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I recently was struck down with chickenpox so in a way I can sympathise with all involved here.


Original Poster March 17, 2011 at 6:50 am

I'm the original poster. As of this morning I am sick as a dog.


Diablo August 19, 2016 at 7:44 am

Rest in peace.


James March 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

Been there — on a flight from Beijing to Bangkok there was a sick brat who climbed on his seat and coughed, spewing into my face. Three days later, I was sick as a dog. I should have wrung the bastard's neck.


Original Poster March 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

Original Poster again. Just back from the doctor with 3 prescriptions and a diagnosis of pneumonia. I am missing at least a week of work.

What recourse do we have if we board a flight and find we are next to very ill passengers? This is costing me significant time and money. What can we do? What would others who read this site do?

I am pissed off…and very sick.


Peace Lover March 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I am very sorry to hear about your illness and I know exactly how you feel. When I got the chickenpox a couple of weeks ago I was off work for two weeks. Not to mention the amound of medication I had to take and being covered in spots. Take care of yourself and don't overdo it.


Gregg - admin March 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

I'm sorry about your illness OP.

According to the article Does airplane air make you sick? from, it's best to ask to be moved away from sneezers. If that's not possible, try turning air vents in order to deflect infectious aerosol droplets away from you. Of course, always bring along – and use – hand sanitizer when traveling on planes.

I hope that you return to good health very soon!


Ren2005 April 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

People are just rude…Stay home when you are so sick!!!!! UGHHHHHHHHHH!!


weyoun7 August 21, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Hah, keep dreaming. If you want people to stay off a plane when they're sick, you can pay for their cancellations and next flight, because that shit's expensive mate. Being sick isn't a choice.


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