Oh Poop! When Someone Leaves a Surprise in the Airplane Bathroom

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We all hear horror stories about different things that happen on the airlines. The fight over the seat reclining and drinks were thrown. The man who was so embarrassed he tried to open the door during the flight… my worst experience happened on an overnight flight to Europe.

I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. The plane was dimly lit and most people were sleeping as you would expect.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-aircraft-lavatory-toilets-aboard-jetliner-airplane-image40366261I had to refrain from throwing up the second I walked into the bathroom.

There was poop on the bathroom floor.

There was POOP on the bathroom floor.

I went right back to my seat and decided it wasn’t anything that couldn’t wait another four hours.

I did not complain to the airline, but I probably should have alerted the flight attendants. The main reason I didn’t was I was still in shock. In my (indistinguishable mumble) years of flying I had never seen anything like that. I also assumed that whoever did it was either a child or an elderly person who couldn’t help themselves and didn’t want them to somehow get called out during the flight.

This was a non-US based airline and I assumed English wasn’t anyone’s primary language. In the back of my mind, I didn’t want to be misunderstood and have them think I was the guilty party. Similar to how Matt Lauer felt when he cleaned up someone else’s urine all over an airline bathroom seat.

From the Huffington Post:

“I get up to go, and [a] guy kinda beats me in there, in the bathroom. So, I’m waiting and then someone waits behind me, and maybe one other person. The guy comes out of the bathroom, I acknowledge him and I go in. I shut the door,” Lauer said. “And there’s no turbulence by the way. This guy has urinated all over the seat of the toilet.”

And thus the dilemma. “I can’t leave, because now they’re gonna think, ‘Matt Lauer peed all over the seat!'” Lauer said. So he felt he had no choice but to clean up this other guy’s mess.

Has anyone else been in a crappy situation?


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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.


  1. Joey

    September 25, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I’ve never been in that situation but I have flown First class where I was the sole passenger in the cabin. Overall they’ve been awesome… but I’ll admit I made sure to meticulously clean the toilet/restroom area after each use since the flight attendants would all know I was the one who was just in there! I do tidy up the restroom after each use regardless of the number of people in the cabin but I feel more self-conscious when I’m the only passenger using that airplane bathroom!
    May I ask which non-US airline you were flying? And was this in economy, prem econ, or business, or first?

    • Tiff

      September 25, 2014 at 2:15 am

      I was flying in economy on a fairly full flight, but I don’t want to “call out” the airline by name since I never alerted them or complained about the situation. I hope that once the flight attendants found out what happened it was taken care of.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      September 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      I always wondered if I am the only one who follows the “please rinse and wipe the basin” instructions for the sink!

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