Passenger Stinks Up Plane

November 14, 2014

in Odor Stories

I was flying from West Palm Beach back to New York on a small Delta regional type of aircraft. In the first class were single seats on the right and doubles on the left, with one small bathroom in the front of the plane.

I was just getting settled in enjoying my single seat, third from the front. With about 15 minutes to go before the doors closed, a huge fellow, probably close to 375 lbs, came waddling from the back to the front. I overheard him asking the FA if he could use the bathroom and she said,  “Yes, but we are close to taking off.” With that, the man went into the bathroom and I was laughing as the door was moving in and out with this huge guy in a tiny bathroom doing his thing. I mean, I am a tall guy myself and a bit stocky, and for me using the bathroom is like peeing and doing the limbo at the same time.

This guy did not come out for a while, and with that the pilot comes out, tries the door, and then it became obvious the bathroom door was not stuck, simply occupied. Again, being so close to the front, I overheard the pilot asking the FA who was in there. She replied that it was a passenger and she had no way of knowing how long he would be in there. The pilot looked at his watch and said, hey, we have to take off soon; the FA just nodded her head.

Then all of a sudden the door opens, the big guy had a huge smile of relief upon exiting, and he began his waddle back towards the rear of the plane. The big problem was that he carried the draft of his vicious plight in the bathroom behind him. Well, the guy in the first single seat gagged, the woman in front of me in the second single seat gagged, and of course, me in the third seat, acted accordingly. Well, it was like the synchronized swimming events you see on TV… we all reached for the air nozzle above us at exactly the same time just for survival. At that point I was imagining the infamous mask dropping down just like I am always told about in the FA’s opening speech. I was prepared… put the mask on myself first, then I could help others, and don’t touch the unit as it can become hot. I mean, hell, I was trained after almost a million miles in the air.

At this point the pilot opened the bathroom door and he let out a huge gag that humored me for some reason – I thought good,  let him get a whiff of it too, see what us peasants go through (I have a sick New York mind). Without going in himself, he asked the FA for some sort of esoteric spray, one not likely to be in the Lysol aisle of your local supermarket. The very compliant FA quickly opened up a box from the overhead. You never really see a box like this or its contents as it seemed to be something like a crash kit, only to be opened by surviving passengers on a desert island or something. She takes out a clear spray bottle with clear liquid and hands it to the pilot. With that, he shoots one timed spray into the bathroom and started to go in when the passenger in the first single seat yelled, “Hey Captain, before you go in, can you share the wealth?”

Captain said, “Yes, sure, sorry folks” as he proceeded to send a few shots of this God-sent liquid into the aisle. You could hear all of us take a nice deep breath exactly the same way I remember as a kid growing up with asthma that sprayed his inhaler… ahhhh, that next breath in the lungs.

Now all of this may sound funny, and I guess it was, but I actually was mad at that flier who single handedly destroyed my sinuses the same way you can’t seem to purge when a baby gets changed on the airplane. I mean, it was going to stay in that nose for a bit no doubt. I felt, yes, there are emergencies on board and we must have compassion as those things can happen to anyone of us. However, the guy just boarded; might he at least think to himself before he boarded to use a nice big restroom in the airport, where he could spread out? Even a handicapped one where he could be comfy? Is he not in tune to his body at all, but waits until zero hour? I mean, maybe after that giant bucket of chicken or whatever junk he must have consumed in the airport not too long ago reached his brain? Maybe I should just sit and relax in a big stall before entering the plane… did that ever occur to this guy?

Well, at least somebody was happy and comfortable after all this. God bless him.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron November 25, 2014 at 7:22 am

I had a similar experience except the odorous passenger was pretty normal size, so weight wasn’t the issue. But we did not get any magic spray and sat in stench for the entire flight.


Maggie May 13, 2015 at 1:07 am

Great writing… from a former airline employee, perhaps? "Is he not in tune to his body at all, but waits until zero hour?" – That sentence you wrote made me laugh, because my husband used to be overweight, and he once told me, "When I was overweight, I wasn't in tune with my body at all!"


FirmanS May 15, 2015 at 9:07 am

Hahaha, that was disgusting, folks!
I can imagine how you all hold your breath.


gabriell October 8, 2015 at 7:11 am

I like this


Rdelrigo August 22, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Some people have issues they can't control. I feel for you; that must have been awful but I'm sure the pax was extremely embarrassed. Ihad IBS when I was younger and the need to "go" would come with no warning whatsoever. I'd try to go before we left but suddenly…boom! Out of nowhere I needed to go and needed to go immediately. It made for some horribly uncomfortable and awkward car trips. Thankfully it has never happened to me on a plane and my digestive issues are much better as I've gotten older. Just keep in mind- the poor soul trying to shit in the plane lavatory probably would rather be anywhere else but there.


Becky September 3, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Although this does sounds like a pain, it does seem as though you only had to deal with the odor for no more than five or ten minutes. And it got solved, didn't it? You should actually be grateful that the plane didn't crash, or you didn't actually have to use those oxygen masks because something was wrong with the plane. Also, some people have issues. It's not their fault they have disgusting, smelly poop. Next time when you post something on this flight, write something actually bad. You should be more thankful.


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