Traveler Troubled by Plugged Up Toilets

October 12, 2010

in Odds & Ends Stories

Summer: 2007. I’m flying back from a vacation to Russia to see my extended family. We manage to pick our way through a three hour journey to Sheremetevo, and start the 1.5 hour check-in process. As this was before I got my Nintendo DS, flights were long and boring, complemented only by SkyMall magazines and books on random subjects. 

As we were moving towards the gate, I noticed we were flying Aeroflot, Russia’s main airline. I was happy, considering it a change from Delta. As we came nearer, my brain went on red alert. I had spotted several babies, which I could dismiss as being an in-flight staple along with safety cards and barf bags. The other danger my brain had picked up was the ENTIRE U-20 (under 20) U.S. Lacrosse team. I was starting to ponder how this flight would turn out. Eventually we made it onto the plane. I occupied myself with a book on the Normandy landings, a time killer that managed to pass all the time between the boarding and takeoff, which was about 30 minutes.

I lay back and took out a cheap electronic toy that asked random quiz questions, turned the sound off and started to play. By this time we had reached cruising altitude. Suddenly I heard 3 simultaneous screams which, unlike your normal wails that are emitted from the mouths of babies every two seconds, sounded like 3 small demons cackling that they had just killed JFK. Their parents did not feel the need to shut them up, so they continued for the next hour or so before quieting down. I then felt the need to go to the restroom. I moved to the lavatory and found out that all the seats near the area (~35 in all) were occupied by the team of lacrosse players. I used the RR, quickly walked out as I heard the generic WHOOSH! after you flush an airline toilet, and walked back to my seat.

The next few hours were more of the same. Read SkyMall, listen to demon babies, eat, and so forth. After about an hour after “dinner,” I had to go use the lavatory again. I got up and made my way down the aisle. As I approached the lavatory, a 17 year old kid told me that the thing was plugged up. I laughed it off inside by brain and pushed the door open. The kid hadn’t been lying. I went back to my seat and continued the same old procedure for the next three hours.

We had finally made it to JFK. As our monitors started to show that we had just flown over Long Island, the captain told us: “Ladies and gentleman, we are currently going to be in a holding pattern over JFK for the next half hour since our flight has been mumble mumble mumble…” That really angered me since I needed to go and dispense of “dinner” now. I sat out the wait and landed in JFK an hour later. After baggage control and so forth, I made a bolt for the restrooms which, according to Murphy’s law, were plugged up. I finally found a working toilet and let loose. It just happened that, after I flushed the toilet, it plugged up. I’m serious. We dashed off to our connecting flight and landed three hours later, able to finally move away from the plane and into our home. I have never again flown Aeroflot .

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

paul October 12, 2010 at 5:58 pm

"I noticed we were flying Aeroflot, Russia’s main airline. I was happy, considering it a change from Delta"

Thats the only time I've seen "Aeroflot" and "happy" mentioned in the same story re flying. Personally I think I would rather take any other airline then Aeroflot………yep even Delta, United and American the Airlines most mentioned on here as flights from hell.


rerere October 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

same here.


JimBob October 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I was happy until the flight. I was expecting good things. Now I expect nothing but junk.


JimBob October 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I'm not the JimBob from 2009


Adam Walstein October 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

That's the lamest story I've ever read on here. So what, the toilets were clogged? Big deal! Not like that hasn't probably happened on every airline at one point or another? Besides, wasn't there more than one lav? And if not, and it was a real emergency, you could have just gone and not flushed, and let the teens deal with the smell! If that was enough that you'll never fly Aeroflot again, then I guess you won't fly through JFK again either, right? Seeming the toilet was clogged there, too?


WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM October 14, 2010 at 3:21 am

Adam Walstein,

Please refrain from acting like a tool. The way you portray yourself in your reply, you come off as selfish and condescending. Maybe you have a steel stomach and nerves to match, but perhaps the writer of the story does not. Neither do I for that matter. Who are you to say deal with it and then let the teens deal with the smell? That is quite rude. Personally, If I had to deal with it, I might start dry heaving and then hurl. I would rather hold it in as the writer did. A clogged toilet is a big deal to many even if not to you. Have a nice day!


Ron October 14, 2010 at 3:41 am

Actually, Adam has a point. It wasn't a flight from hell, pure and simple. The OP had to hold for a little while and it irked him. Last time I checked, that doesn't constitute a flight from hell.

Worse yet, it was simply boring.


rerere October 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

What bothers me about this story is the fact that the OP didn't notify the flight attendant or use a different restroom. What, you can only use one bathroom on the whole plane? Pathetic.


JimBob October 14, 2010 at 10:26 am

I held it for three hours. And as I remember, you can't use FC lav's.


Ron October 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

I think the following is appropriate to interject, in keeping with my prior comment.


Richard Flemming October 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I'm pretty sure the crew would allow you to use the first class lavs in the event you were on a long haul flight, and the economy restrooms were inop? You could even go in and crap in the airsick bag if you really needed to! But still, on a wide body aircraft, there should be at least two sets of restrooms in coach. One in the back with 2 or 3, and another set of 2 towards the front of economy. Hardly a flight from hell! More like a minor inconvenience.


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