Gross! Flight faux pas

2012-06-07 15:16

Confined spaces have a way of bringing out the worst in people, especially when you're flying a few thousand kilometers above ground and really have nowhere else to go.

Yup, flights can be pretty disgusting places when you start thinking about it: all those people with all their germs, unbreakable habits, strange toilet behaviour and bad breath next to, in front, behind and across the aisle from you.

So, while we really don't want to freak you out, nor spark some incurable form of OCD, we've collected a few horror stories about when gross habits and flights meet from around the web.

Scandalous liaisons

Photo: Shutterstock

Formerly rather unknown model, Melissa Stetton may just have booted her way into the real big time this week, by live tweeting the salacious flirtation of the married man next to her. A married man who happens to be an actor named Brian Presley. While she was at first not aware of Presley's - ahem - fame, fellow actor Pat Healy helped blow his cover by tweeting Stetton a link to his IMBD page and telling her to find out how his wife Erin and son Jackson are. Read more about it on The Gloss.

As for watching x-rated or super sexy films or series on a flight? Another definite no-no. Perhaps a good measure would be just not to watch anything you wouldn't be embarrassed about if your parents walked in. The same goes for reading matter.

Keep your feet to yourself

Photo: Shutterstock

So, a flight may seem like the perfect time to get some of that personal grooming done, you never have time for at home: plucking your eyebrows, clipping your toe nails, doing a little diy pedicure... but no. Just no. Not a good idea at all.

One flight attendant told Fox News how a lady had been exfoliating her feet, then not knowing what to do with all the dead skin shavings, tried to dump it in said flight attendant's trash bag. Eeew!

And while it may seem somewhat innocent to some, the clipping of toe nails on a confined aircraft is not quite as acceptable as it is in your lounge at home. Firstly, removing your shoes on a flight is sort of frowned upon, because, let's just be honest, no one has odourless feet. Secondly, what are you going to do with all those clippings?

So, you think it can't get any worse as far as feet are concerned? Sadly not. One obviously in-touch-with-the-earth first class passenger was spotted picking something off his bare feet... and eating it.

Bums, boobs and babies

Photo: Shutterstock

Hats off to all parents who are brave enough to fly with their wriggling bundles of joy and piercing screams... especially if the flight exceeds two hours. Personally, I think there's no easy way to do it, and no sure fire way of knowing that your baby will be clean, happy, well-fed, and -behaved throughout.

However, no matter how desperate you get, there are a few things best avoided, like changing nappies in your seat. Most airlines have baby-changing trays in their bathrooms, so no excuse to test the gag reflexes of those around you!

While most mothers are pretty careful about where and when they breastfeed, some evidently have less qualms about flashing their assets in public. "A lady decided that it was appropriate to use a breast pump during boarding. She fully exposed both breasts and with just a bottle (not with a baby) did the vacuum effect on her fully exposed boob. Let me remind you this was both breasts out in the air, on a full flight, during boarding, taxi, take-off and part of cruise," a flight attendant recalls. 

Farts and other kinds of flatulence

Photo: Shutterstock

While you may think it's okay to fart on a flight, as long as it's silent, the truth is it's not, because those are normally the most violent. And, yes, they might not be able to trace the source of the stink back to you, but just put yourself in the shoes (hopefully they're wearing some) of your poor unfortunate fellow flyers and flight attendants?

One elderly lady took the whole farting thing to the extreme though when she asked the sweet young lady next to her for a pin to prick her colostomy bag with. "Well, she said that her colostomy bag was filling with gas and she needed to release the pressure before the bag burst. She released it all right, and the most horrific stench filled the plane. Everyone thought it was coming from me," the girl told Jaunted.

Vomit and spit

The awkward mixture of nerves, turbulence, air conditioning and body odour often have the ability to unleash a wave of unstoppable nausea in even the toughest traveller. So thank goodness for those nifty little barf bags in the seat pocket, right?

Well, mostly yes, but not when you're expecting to find an empty one, and instead find yourself face to face with an earlier deposit, or even worse, reach inside to find out first hand.

Former flight attendant, Sarah Keagle shared her stomach-turning experience with Jaunted: "I was the aisle flight attendant when a passenger asked me if I would heat up a baby bottle. I knew just what to do! Now all I needed was a sick bag so I could fill it with hot water. I reached into a seat back pocket, grabbed a sick bag and pushed my hand inside to open it up. Feeling the still warm, oatmeal consistency on my hand is where the glamor ended for me. Yes folks, I had just stuck my manicured hands into fresh vomit!"

One of our readers had an equally gag-worthy story about a woman who decided to deposit her phlegm into a glass on a recent flight.


Got any of your own to share? Send us your stories to or Tweet us@GoTravel24

Read more on:    travel tips  |  travel international

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