June 10, 2011

To Pee, Or Not to Pee?

A little while ago Bobbylaurie(TM) made a post about something he calls "Lavophobia", where passengers (and sometimes crew) are afraid to use the lavs onboard the plane- for whatever reason- and it got me thinking about some of the weird toilet habits I've seen or heard about on the plane.

I'm no fan of the lav myself, as I think it's one of the ickiest places you can go, but I'll use it if I have to. I'll avoid it if possible, but I won't get so weirded out by it that I develop some bizarre ritual to deal with having to go tinkle in the sky...

Here's a few that I've heard of.

The Paper Towel Warrior

This person is the one who opens the door using a tissue over the handle, and proceeds to paper every exposed surface with paper towel in order to create a shield between their body and any germy surface inside the lav.

Of course, this takes quite a while and is likely to annoy both the people waiting, and the crew who have to keep replacing the loo roll and/or hand towels every ten minutes on a transcon flight. (There are quite a few PTW's on flights these days)

The If-I-Don't-See-It-It-Can't-Hurt-Me Type

They enter the toilet, cautiously peering out of one squinted eye, hoping the reduced vision level will prevent them seeing the horrors of the lav. They do everything by feel including wiping and/or papering the seat before sitting down, all the while thinking 'nice thoughts' to keep them from thinking about what might actually be on that seat. These people are also usually the kind that think if they can't SEE any dirty parts of the bathroom, then it must be relatively clean. (Haha)

The Hand Sanitizer Queen (King)

This passenger (or crewmember) is happy to use the lav at any time, provided everything has been coated in a generous amount of sanitizer before use.

They can usually be recognised by the fact they own shares in Bath & Body Works, and always have a spare bottle in their bag to give to that non-believer who might just be converted to using Purell after their eyes have been opened.

The I-Can-Wait-To-Pee Type

This flyer would rather risk their bladder health than use the icky loo on the plane. No matter how desperate they are, they just WILL NOT go. Even on a long haul flight. I once knew an F/A who was NEVER seen using the lav at any time, but on turns would run into the airport to use the restrooms in the terminal, screeching at everyone to get out of her way as she couldn't hold it any more. There was also an urban legend doing the rounds about a captain who was kind of on the fat side, and as he found it difficult to get in & out of his seat easily, would just pee in a bottle instead. Needless to say, those FAs wouldn't spend any time in the cockpit, much to the dismay of whichever First Officer he happened to be flying with that day.

The Number One Only Type

Happy to use the lav onboard but only for getting rid of number 1's. Will hold it for everything else.

The (Much Hated) "I Don't Do Number Two's At Home" Type

Out of courtesy to their loved ones/colleagues, they avoid going for a "newspaper break" at the home or office, but are only too happy to stink out the back of a 737 with their visits to the restroom. They don't even have the sense to use the air freshener AND I'm not allowed to light matches to counter the reek. I *hate* this type...

The Barefoot Adventurer

This type of passenger is likely to complain that the carpet is not clean enough, the plane is a bit old or the person next to them looks a bit sniffly. They will then happily walk into the bathroom with no shoes on (or even worse, wearing socks, so they can soak up the germs to take home with them.) I love cheerfully informing them that it's not water on the floor in there. On long flights, my colleagues and I sometimes keep a tally of how many passengers go in barefoot. If we're feeling particularly cheeky, we'll tell them due to safety regs that shoes must be worn in the toilet. It's funny how many go back to get their shoes, and how many just shrug their shoulders and go in anyway. I think just for fun I might try making a sign on the computer with a "no bare feet" symbol and stick it on the door... :P

One final note from me: Whichever 'type' you are- PLEASE flush when you're done, it's not a urinal!!

Have you observed any strange bathroom habits onboard? Are YOU a "Lavophobe"? What things do you do onboard to avoid the potential germs?

Leave a comment, hop on over to my Facebook page or Tweet me with your story!!


  1. No real lav fears TT


  2. Hi this blog is really good. I share this blog to my friend. This is really great job man. Keep update to your blog and keep posting realistic and good. The travels is more competion to our world. All the best for your future process good keep it up bye...

  3. Well, as long as there's no 'poo' on the lav floor or sticking to the lav floor itself, I don't see the problem. There's almost no germs in pee... Do all these people with lav fears clean every tap/faucet they touch in other public bathrooms? Cause that's the only place germs from bathroom visits could make a home...

    Do all these lav phobics know that their own body, inside and out, is covered in millions upon millions of germs and that they wouldn't be alive if those germs weren't there? I just love telling people that :)

  4. The "Outhouse Traveller"

    Flying from the U.S. to Central America I constantly walk in to the lav to find used toilet paper left on the counter or on the floor. Apparently some of these folks have never used an indoor toilet.

  5. My husband once flew F class from YYZ to LAX with Canadian pop diva Céline Dion (her private jet broke down and she needed to get to the Grammy awards). She got up from her seat, spoke to the FA in the forward galley, waited until the FA finished whatever she was doing, then went in the lav. A couple of minutes later, she opened the door a crack and looked for the FA, who was elsewhere in the cabin. Close the door, wait a couple of minutes, open the door again, call the FA over. Céline exits the lav and the FA goes in. Céline waits just outside the lav door, the FA comes out, they speak briefly, and Céline goes back to her seat.
    This routine happens a couple of times, so finally my husband asks the FA what's going on. She tells him it's not uncommon for celebrities to ask the FA to do an "inspection" after they exit the lav so they don't have to worry about passengers later saying, "I went into an airplane lav after Céline Dion once and boy, did she leave a disgusting mess in there."


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