Fillin’ Up The Barf Bags

April 30, 2009

in Illness/Medical Stories

While flying from Los Angeles to Washington DC on Virgin America the plan ran into some very heavy turbulence that lasted for well over an hour. Although I am prone to seasickness, I had never become air sick until this flight. After filling two airsick bags and mortifying my boyfriend I could no longer sit in my middle seat in the constant turbulence. I also did not want the contents of the two bags to catalyze airsickness in my boyfriend and the poor understanding stranger sitting next to me.

I carefully walked down the middle pathway with the airsick bags in hand to have them thrown out and the flight attendants rather rudely said I could not be up and about. I handed her the to airsick bags and looked for the restroom thinking it was a place I could stand and recover from my episode. Another attendant very rudely said I could not go into the restroom while the fasten seat belt sign was on. At this point in time I did not care what she said and her 110lbs frame and her ridiculous twinkling LED necklaces was not going to stop my 250lbs footballer build from getting into that bathroom. I said I did not care about the seat belt sign and went into the bathroom for an additional 30-40 minutes until the turbulence finally subsided.

This flight had two straight hours of turbulence. I question whether some of that could have been somehow avoided. I also wonder whether the attendants could have been more polite to an extremely unconformable and somewhat direst flier.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul April 10, 2009 at 12:00 am

well, you cant really avoid the turbulance. however, FA could have been alittle nicer, but their pay wages probably doesnt make the FA feel to be nice

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Onslow April 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

Kudos to you for going to the restroom to recover. You were certainly as considerate as possible to the persons next to you. The FA should have willingly made an exception.

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Joe Mama April 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

Yes, the FA's didn't sound very nice on this one. Last flight I was on, the seat belt light came on, but I had to relieve myself. I went to the forward lav where two FA's were standing, and one of them told me the seat belt light was on (which I knew). I asked her if that meant I couldn't use the lav, and the other one said that they couldn't stop me from using it. So I told them I'd be careful and went ahead & used it. But I guess it's probably a liability thing, because they don't want anyone getting injured when flying through turbulence while trying to use the lav, so they have to tell passengers that the seat belt light is on.

But to be a dick about it and tell you to go sit back down is unprofessional & rude.

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Julicans April 11, 2009 at 4:26 am

You know, the FA aren't on the aircraft just to serve you drinks and hassle the pax, they are on there for safety reasons. It is FAA regs that you don't get up when the seat belt sign is on. Don't you think that you could get hurt if you're up and about during turbulence? I had a FA break her nose when the plane suddenly dropped and she hit the drink cart. Please let them do their jobs of keeping you and all the other souls on board safe. Btw, did you know that someone working at McD's makes more money than someone doing the ground work (loading the bags, marsheling the aircraft with 100+ souls & multi million $$ equipment)? Go figure!

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AerOklahoma April 16, 2009 at 10:12 am

Keeping true with the previous posting, Flight Attendants are there for service but their primary role is safety. While I agree they could have been more courteous regarding asking you to take your seat, they may have understood the severity of the turbulence and that you may have actually been in danger. Your behavior was inexcusable as well. I understand your distraught as I live in constant excruciating pain every day from a chronic back injury and sometimes it's frustrating when I find proper accommodations are refused. Your actions (possibly perceived as threatening in that you said you were going to get your way) could be viewed as interference with a flight crew. According to the US Department of Justice Title 9-61.110 (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/ foia_reading_room/usam/title9/63mcrm.htm#9-63.110) and Criminal Resource Manual 1411: 49USC64504 (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/ foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01411.htm) and 1406 (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/ foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01406.htm) you could have been arrested if you or they decided to push things further. As a frequent traveler, generally in First Class, I'm tired of people thinking rules don't apply to them. However, when someone is distraught I understand they want help, but maybe ask for another bag or ring the FA next time.

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Rob April 25, 2009 at 6:09 pm

What does one expect a couple FA's to do with some 'used' puke bags at 36,000 feet? Open a window and chuck it out?

Regardless of how you felt at the time, I'm pretty sure that a broken neck wasn't in your planning for the future.

When that light comes on that says you put your seat belt on, you put the damn thing on.

If your head can't understand that a plane that drops at 1 thousand feet per minute, even for 2 seconds, means instant, irreparable damage to you, then you deserve to listen to your stomach.

Nothing wrong was done by the FA's here, and if anything, they put their company in legal jeopardy by not insisting that you remain in your seat. If you had been injured, I'm quite sure you would be joining the annals of the McDonalds Lady who burned her legs because the coffee was hot, and got a couple million dollars for her trouble.

Complete lack of sympathy, although having a bad flight must have affected everyone else around you.

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Laura July 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

You weigh 250 lbs and you're a chick and you were vomiting? Disgusting!

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