The Barfer

July 1, 2009

in Illness/Medical Stories

Took a flight from O’Hare to San Francisco. Sat in the last row, window seat. Only 1 open seat on the plane near the front of the plane. An overweight woman sat next to me whose thighs overhang her seat and squished next to mine. That is not the bad part (although it was bad). As soon as we were airborne, she began vomiting. Pretty much non-stop. After a few minutes, the guy in the aisle seat left to take the only other open seat on the plane. I was stuck as the barfer would not even move over 1 seat to the aisle. She continued to fill every sick bag on the plane (the flight attendants went through the entire cabin to collect every last one). The barfer would fill a bag, seal it, and set it on the now empty aisle seat next to her for all to behold (visually and olfactorily). And anyone who’s flown over the Rockies in the summer knows how bumpy that part of the trip can be. Filled quite a few bags on that segment.

After four and a half hours of this we finally landed in San Fran. Short of serious injury or death, can’t fathom how an actual flight could have been worse (unless, of course, we were flying overseas…)

Signed, Frequent Flyer

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

SAW June 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm

And you didn't ask her to move over?


MJ June 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I dunno, SAW, would you rather sit next to her or next to a seat full of vomit-filled bags? Tough choice.


Anonymous June 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm

MJ, it doesn't sound like there was much of a difference :-p At least the bags weren't going to start actively discharging their contents…


Something Awesome June 17, 2009 at 9:19 pm

After a certain point, there can't be anything left to vomit.


SAW June 18, 2009 at 2:04 am

That's a good point MJ… I think maybe I'd be begging a flight attendant for a spare jumpseat


Nacho June 18, 2009 at 4:19 am

That is a hard choice, between the barfer and her rewards… which one would make a worse seatmate?

I'm hoping that attendants were coming by once in a while and taking the bags, at least. Ugh.


Demotage June 18, 2009 at 8:14 am

I once took my seat and felt a lump in the seat. Upon investigation, I found that someone had stuffed a fully loaded barf bag between the seat cushion and the bulkhead. Unfortunately, my investigation had consisted of reaching in and pulling the bag out. So I now had it in my hand with no where to put it. I called the FA who apologised, but left me holding the bag while she went forward to get gloves. It took here more than five minutes to get back because of the boarding passengers. Luckily, the bag didn't open, but it felt weird holding a bag for five minutes that she wouldn't touch without gloves. Oh well, I guess better only one of us risk catching some disease.


Laura July 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I am so terrified of being near someone barfing on a plane. Everything in the world is wrong when it comes to puking in a bag mid-air in close quarters.


Sabrina August 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm

hm, couldn't the puking person just go and puke in a toilet like everyone else?


Anon Lurker March 21, 2010 at 12:27 am

I swear by all that is high and mighty that this is a new fact to me, but @Sabrina apparently not everyone is willing to puke in a toilet.

I kind of thought that the whole reason most bathrooms are stocked with soap, water and paper towels would be to facilitate cleaning oneself up after visiting (perhaps intimately) with one of our dirtier communal areas, but I guess soap doesn't cut it with some people.

I am not prone to motion sickness (chili dogs before coaster rides and everything, not that I was trying, I didn't have a reason to care) but if I began feeling like I was going to throw up on a plane, my first stop would be the bathroom. I would only resort to the barbaric "barf bags" if the "fasten seatbelts" light was on and there was no way that I could flee. Not only does it seem more sanitary to throw up in a toilet with facilities to wash up in after, but it just isn't something I'd want to do where 50+ people could watch me. Also, don't they still have those little paper cups in there so you can rinse your mouth out? If not, oh well, give me a sheet of notebook paper. I can fold it into a cup!


Iloveflying February 17, 2016 at 3:54 am

Throwing up in the bathroom in the airplane? While in flight? There's a reason they have barf bags.


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