Vomit Lady and Other Woes Vex Traveler

November 3, 2014

in Odds & Ends Stories

I was travelling from Melbourne to Athens via Dubai last December. I hadn’t flown in quite a few years, and my return to the aviation world was less than impressive. From the start I could tell it was going to be fun. I was seated in the middle seat in the centre row (a.k.a prime real estate), and the plane in Melbourne was delayed for two hours (mechanical issues and late passengers). Okay, no problem, that stuff happens…

Plane takes off and within seconds of the seat belt sign turning off, the guy in front of me violently reclines his seat into my knees, and children around the aircraft start shrieking in their ear-shattering voices (and this would continue for around six hours). I honestly don’t want to recline my own seat because I hate being a dick to passengers who haven’t really done anything to me. So I look at the people next to me. Both don’t have reclined seats in front of them and they’re glued to their screens oblivious to the outside world. I have a middle-aged woman on the window seat and a tubby Aussie guy in a business suit on the aisle. I go to fiddle around with my own TV, only to find that the headphones are broken and half the buttons on my remote don’t work. Now my blood pressure starts rising a bit…

The FAs were absolutely no help at all. After asking several of them (very nicely might I add) and getting the same “just a minute” reply, I was left in the end without headphones and watched several movies with just subtitles. But mercifully after a couple of hours, my sleep deprivation from the night before kicked in and I basically passed out.

I was awakened a bit later by some commotion, but I was so delirious that I couldn’t really tell what was going on, and within seconds I went back to sleep. As far as I could tell, it had something to do with the lady next to me. Some hours later I woke up and went to the toilet, with people staring at me as I walked down the aisle. I soon found out what the commotion earlier was about. The lady next to me was sick, and by the looks of it a fair bit had missed and splattered onto me. Nobody had bothered to wake me up and tell me, leaving the vomit to basically encrust itself into my clothes, so cleaning it was impossible.

Returning to my seat to a now very cheerful-looking Vomit Lady, food was served, only for the guy in front to violently put his seat back up and spill my drink into my food. Not to mention Vomit Lady ate very, very loudly.

After dinner, Business Suit Aussie fell asleep and his head would crash upon my shoulder, only for him to wake up and repeat the process several seconds later (I think my shoulder developed a callus from the whole thing). Vomit Lady was also asleep, snoring incredibly loudly and making weird moaning sounds (perhaps dreaming of throwing up on me again?), made worse without my headphones, obviously. And all the babies were still shrieking their faces off without even a tinge of parental intervention, so sleep was out of the question.

I arrived in Dubai hours later thinking I had three hours to relax. However, the delay in Melbourne forced me to run to my next plane across Dubai airport (basically a marathon).

The Dubai-Athens leg wasn’t as bad, but I still had to contend with the guy next to me stealing my seat for leg room every time I went to the toilet and having to basically argue with him every time, as well as more screaming babies, more recliners, more broken headphones, and having to smell like sweat and another person’s vomit the whole time.

Oh, and the company lost all my luggage for four whole days when I made it to Athens, and pretended that they didn’t know what I was talking about when I told them. So, yeah, there’s that cherry on my cake…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitch November 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

One time I vomited on a sleeping passenger next to me. Best thing I could say when she woke up was " So, are you feeling better?"


OogaBooga December 8, 2014 at 10:11 am

Mitch your the person this place needs.


shannyn December 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

feel so sorry for u


Tao Tao May 30, 2016 at 1:56 am

oh dude i totally feel for you this one guy on this one qantas flight reclined his seat all the way back, and I was suddenly glad that i had a 11" macbook air. i never recline my seat back, unless the person behind me reclines, then i would recline less than an inch.


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