Not Enough Barf Bags

April 28, 2010

in Illness/Medical Stories

It was April 16, 2007–Marathon Monday in Boston–and a very bad storm had blown into town. Unfortunately that was also the day we were flying with our children and my husband’s parents to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday at Colonial Williamsburg. Our flight to Newport News, Va was one of the few to get out on time that day.

Less than 20 minutes after takeoff, we began to experience the most horrific turbulence I have ever encountered. The seatbelt sign was lit for the entire flight, and within half an hour, people all over the plane began throwing up. It was like being on the Mayflower.

When the teenage boy in the seat in front of mine began throwing up, I reached into my seat pocket for a barf bag, but found none. Pretty soon, passengers in numerous rows were discovering that planes just don’t stock as many of these helpful little sacks.

The reek was nearly unbearable. As we approached Newport News, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to land right away due to the high wind velocity. So we circled… circled for an hour, people barfing all the while, until we were told that the plane had been redirected to Richmond where we would board motor coaches for the drive to Newport News.

My daughter and I were sitting near the front of the plane–and fortunately, no one in my family got sick–but my in-laws, who were near the back, said that as they were getting off, they saw a pool of vomit in almost every row.

I felt very sorry for the poor cleaning crew!

– Isolda

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura May 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm

That is more or less the most horrific thing I have ever read, and my absolute worst nightmare as someone who is terrified of being near people who are vomiting in enclosed spaces…yech!


ann August 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Laura, I'm also completely terrified of being near someone vomiting. It sucks 🙁


crella May 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

"It was like being on the Mayflower."

Those poor people! Modern day 'puke-stockings' (the nick-name given the Mayflower passengers by the crew). My husband was on a flight like that once, he wrote his will and a good-bye letter…the overhead bins opened and stuff fell out, and he could hear things banging around in the cargo hold . It continued for a little over two hours. He couldn't fly for a couple of years after that.


Laura May 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

You know, I read somewhere that people use barf bags on less than 1% of flights, but stories like this are everywhere. Makes me wonder.


david May 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm

i wouldnt be too suprised……..prob coz people dont get to them in time or cant find it so everythin ends up in unwanted places


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