On a recent flight to Thailand, the passenger sitting next to me, who was heading to Karachi, coughed deeply, cleared his throat several times with a rasping sound and then spat copiously into an airsickness bag he had prepared for the purpose. He repeated this regularly throughout the flight – but it turns out I had got off lightly.
While it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, it was no worse than sitting next to someone vomiting into the bag, which is what the bag is designed for.
Recent reports, however, indicate that it could have been much less pleasant. The bags are being used to urinate into. And it gets worse.
A report in Vietnam’s Thanh Nien News relates that a famous Vietnamese singer has been fined for letting her son “urinate into a vomit bag” during a flight.
Vietnamese aviation authorities fined the woman and her husband VND 4 million (AUD 244) each for letting their four-year-old son stand on a seat and urinate into a sickness bag instead of using the toilet on a Vietnam Airlines flight.
Singer Le Quyen, 34, and her husband Le Duc Huy, a businessman, were found guilty of “violating order and discipline on a flight,” a report by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) stated.
The incident took place on 16 July 2015 when the Hanoi-born singer was travelling on the airline’s new Airbus A350-900, which had just been deployed on the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route.
According to CAAV, the plane was about to touch down at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi when Quyen let her son stand on his seat and urinate into an air-sickness bag. Huy, who sat in the same row, was seen holding the bag for his son to aim at.
A Facebook post said the boy missed, causing “urine to splatter onto the plane’s interior”.
A few notches beyond that in airborne grossness is an incident on a recent Shenzhen Airlines flight between Nanjing and Guangzhou, when the parents of a toddler allowed their child defecate on the floor.
The mother of the child said the toilets were too small to allow her, along with the child and another relative, to get inside together, the Shanghai Morning Post reported. Why three people should have wanted to occupy the toilet simultaneously was not disclosed.
Another passenger on the flight insists indignantly that two toilets on the aircraft were vacant at the time.
The paper said the mother was heard telling the child there was no need to hurry going to the toilet, as it was easier to just use the floor. No details were given of the child’s age or sex.
It’s not the first time such things have occurred on flights originating in China. A child was encouraged to defecate in his seat during a flight from Beijing to Detroit last year, according to the US-based Chinese-language newspaper World Journal.
In that case, other passengers begged the child’s parents to take him to the toilet instead, but the parents preferred to let their offspring defecate on his seat, which they had covered with newspaper.
The parents reasoned that flight attendants could then clear the mess up.
Written by Peter Needham