In the news, a JetBlue pilot allegedly made a passenger give his seat to an off-duty flight attendant. The flight was full, so the passenger was ordered to sit on the toilet for three hours.


I'm sure your reaction to this story was the same as mine: That passenger got the best seat in the house! He had lots of leg room, total privacy, no one trying to hog the armrest, no seatbelt requirement, and all the whizzing he could handle. So naturally he sued the airline.

The passenger's problem was that he didn't know how to make the best of a great situation. I would have kept the door propped open and yelled "Waiter! More Diet Coke!" every time a flight attendant walked past. And I would have gathered up enough blankets and pillows to feather my little nest.

You might be thinking that the toilet seat in the bathroom has more cooties than Rick Solomon's beard. That's true, and it's why you should always pee in the little sink. But I digress. My point is that there is some theoretical number of airline blankets that will give you three hours of protection. Then all you have to worry about is the germs on the blankets themselves.

The real victims in this story are the two-hundred passengers who had to share one bathroom. They're the ones who should be suing. Airlines have a rule that you can't congregate around the bathroom and wait in line. That means you have to keep one hand on your seatbelt buckle and get ready to pounce as soon as the door opens. If anyone else makes a move, you might need to show your box cutters and yell something about Allah to clear the aisle. It's either that or your bladder will burst. There are no good choices here.

The passenger in this story had his own private suite for three hours and apparently missed the opportunity for a solo flight to the Mile High Club. I assume this is the case because he arrived in California all angry. If you put most men of that age group behind a locked door for three hours, with no other form of entertainment, you need a gurney and an IV at the other end.

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Mar 25, 2011
If I was the pilot I would've sent the guy a virgin sacrifice as an appeasement. No guy will complain about that. After some raucus activity in the toilet room, the guy would have had a nice nap for the rest of the flight.
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May 27, 2008
I think the worst part of this story is that the guy was not forewarned!!! If he had known ahead of time he could have taken his computer into the private room...with lots of DVD's. Maybe even a projector. Unexpected turbulence would have just enhanced the enjoyment.
May 19, 2008
Apparently the FAA didn't find the incedent so funny but Flightglobal did:


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May 19, 2008
Actually, he may have seen all the advantages. But he also saw a primo chance to make some extra bucks. There's no way any jury will agree that sitting in the john the entire trip is a good thing. The airline will settle for maybe $100K and some passes to Disney World. That's a bonus!
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May 19, 2008
I heard about this last week, under the BBC's "wierd !$%*! section. It did strike me that in turbulence, he might be locked in what is essentially the equivalent of a pringles tube in a joggers pocket. Ever seen the crisps afterwards? I don't blame him for benig a bit scared (I'd have left the door open as well) but I'd have demanded unlimited booze - well , if you're in there already, you may as well indulge.

This does raise a larger question though, concerning toilets on flights (I flew back to the UK from Mexico in 2003 and I recall the rapid spiral into tiptoesville that became the toilet conditions)... I think the toilets should be built into the seats, and we should be sent special "plug-in" trousers which we're supplied with on the flight. You could include inflatable airbags like pilots have in their G-suits to help cut down on those troublesome and lawsuit-inducing DVT attacks. Just don't ask how the system would hook up.
May 19, 2008
The bathroom wouldn't be so bad if my mum had the chance to give it the once-over first. There'd be a doilly cover for the loo paper, a bowl of unspecified pot-pourri, and beneath the pan one of those pluffy ruggy mats that quickly become wee soaked. Magic!
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May 18, 2008
I wonder if the turbulence was of natural causes. If I were the captain, I would test a new aerobatic maneuver. Starts with an almost free-fall, which keeps passengers seated, except their digestive systems. During this fall, I would do sudden pull ups.
I would like to name it as SUCTIONBELT if not taken, for which I have doubts. In case, this name inspires a new technology which removes the need to seatbelts, you might hear:
_ "ladies and gentlemen, we ask you to please keep your pants down"

BTW, Gokhan Mutlu is a Turkish name, but this does not disprove the previous Klingon thesis.
May 18, 2008
Great story about an arrogant pilot and the passenger's ambulance-chasing compensation lawyer. The great thing about being consigned to the head is that when sitting on the throne, one can put one's feet up on the door and stretch out one's legs. Or, after lining the floor with blankets and pillows, stand on one's head for the three hours from wherever to LAX. I would've loved it. But maybe that poor guy's whizzer was shot off in the war and so he couldn't enjoy whizzing or doing anything else with it.
May 16, 2008
...and was your client wearing his seatbelt on take off and landing? ...was there anytime during the flight where your client was required to wear his seatbelt? ....do you know of any precedent where an airline was ordered to pay settlements for uncomfortable seating?

1) I order the defendant to issue a full refund of the price of the ticket to the plaintiff.
2) I officially declare an open season on uncomfortable travel accommodation.

Lazy Boy
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May 16, 2008
Elizabeth -
- Thanks for the update, I get it now. So many questions. If you do decide to go ahead with that, I'd be interested to hear about the whole process and how it works out for you. You should start your own blog!
- LOL on the "golden opportunity"!
- Don't worry about the thumbs-downs. You are getting, by far, the strongest reactions, which is pretty cool
- Spot on (and well-said)! Sex is a tough topic for a lot of people; Very few people I know actually have healthy sex lives and are open and honest about it with themselves and their partners.

Keep us posted! And thanks for being open and honest about what you were thinking in the first place.

May 16, 2008
The real problem was he didn't have a seatbelt. If someone forced me to drive without a seatbelt I would think he was endangering my life. An airplane is really not that different.
How much is your life worth?
May 16, 2008
OK, so I've been patient with the beta of the new site. It only took two weeks for it to register me, I can wait. However, what the hell happened to all the "fun" stuff? I realize that you can only play the "dilberto" game so many times, but to remove the e-cards and archives of the DNRC? Have you lost your mind or are you just enhancing your capitalist greed?
May 16, 2008
Okay, so the guy sat in the toilet the whole trip. Remember he was flying free/standby on a buddy pass. Did he get to his destination? He could have been refused boarding, instead he knew the risks. Now, after the flight takes off they shouldn't have changed his seats, but it's not as if they landed and kicked him off in some desolated area. He ended up at the destination. The flight attendant who wimped out on the jumpseat should have had the throne instead. Lighten up guy. It was a free ticket.

And Rita Mae - don't leave, you'll be missed!!
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May 16, 2008
Hi Scott,

I heard this story on the news and thought it was absurd and wondered if the pilot was just following protocol or something. I like your take on the story, the restroom isn't big, but it is much bigger than a first class seat, perhaps they should charge the guy more. More than that, I like your idea about taking a solo trip to the mile high club. I fly a fair amount, but this never occurred to me. I've often thought how could you do the mile high thing in one of these bathrooms and considered the club mostly fictitious. Now I have a new challenge.

If you see someone headed to the bathroom with their laptop, that’s just me headed for the mile high club, alone.

May 16, 2008
What ever happened to the idea that the most voted for comments would float to the top?
Though bear in mind that in a story about toilets, it isn't always the cream that floats on the top.
May 16, 2008
Yay! An entertaining post again! Keep up the good work Scott, this is the type of post that keeps me addicted to your blog.

May 16, 2008
Hmm... the formatting got ruined in my comment. I wonder what happened...
May 16, 2008
Well, Scott. It seems that in the heat of glorifying the simple ideal of peeing in the sink, which, I thought was customary for all modern airlines, you have conveniently ignored the despicable negative points of being stuck in the loo for three hours.

1. You do not get to watch the in-flight movies playing at the time, and worse yet, you completely lose out on the thrill of complaining about in-flight movies.

2. You do not get to recline your seat back into the lap of the passenger behind you, happily ignoring muffled protests by pretending to listen to music through a dead headphone set.

3. You have to bear the grunt and wrath of 200 passengers waiting in line. That’s the combined wrath of 400 bladders, ready to burst. And if you are thinking, “Hey, this is a plane. They won’t have weapons aboard.”, you forget that each of those 400 devices are capable of serious damage.

4. Everytime you stretch your legs, you are liable to trip a stewardess…. Hmm… Ok, I don’t know how this point got on the list. That’s one plus point

5. If you decide to doze off, you have to take care not to slide down (which may very well happen – no seat belts, remember?) and wake up with your face in the toilet

6. There is a potent threat that some passenger may be blind/sleepy/idiotic enough to ignore the situation and answer the call of nature anyway. If you are thinking “Hey, that’s not going to happen. If someone comes like that, I’ll just scream out loud”… think again… do you really want to face that situation with your mouth open??
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May 15, 2008
LOL, Go Elizabeth. Love ya work.

As far as making the best of a bad situation, C'mon Scott. You'd actually enjoy being in the plane dunny for 3 hours? No freakin way. let me sit up somewhere in one of those stewardess emergency seats. preferably close to the bar. if I have to sit in the cubicle for 3 hours, send in a cute hostess or it's not happening.
May 15, 2008
weaselsRus - I think I love you.
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