Nightmare Flight: Farts, Polo, and a Big Mac - My Worst Travel Experience


I'll preface this with the fact that I don't fly often. Road trips are more my style and my last flight confirms this for me.
So, I didn't actually book this flight. My sister-in-law was in charge of that. She was fully aware of my triskaidekaphobia beforehand but chose row 13 anyways. Upon looking at my boarding pass, I knew it was going to be a doozy of a flight.
It was a fairly small plane. I sat in the middle seat because it was easier for her to get out in the aisle seat with a baby. Our window seat neighbor arrived and squeezed in past us. I'm just saying, waiting until the last minute to put your compression socks on, in the middle of a hot a$$ crowded plane is not the best idea. But, I politely scooted over as much as I could so she could have plenty of room.
About halfway up to altitude, I smelled a familiar smell so what's the first thing an ostomates does? I did a quick over-the-shirt bag check to make sure all was intact. No problems with my bag so I attributed the smell to my baby nephew.
About five minutes later, I smelled it again. Wasn't the baby this time because my SIL checked his diaper. I ignored it and waited for my free pretzels.
I bet you can't guess what happens next. Well, maybe you can. The smell came back. Then, I noticed my window-seat-compression-sock-wearing neighbor start to flip through a magazine rather quickly. She found a perfume sample page and quickly tore it out. It was Polo by Ralph Lauren. She started waving it, trying to be inconspicuous, but nevertheless, ended up wafting a potent stream of god awful floral scent my way.
So, here I am, squished in a tiny seat, basking in the smell of farts mixed with Polo. And mind you, this kept happening every 5 or so minutes. I swear, I thought the oxygen masks were going to drop down any second. I was definitely lacking air.
Because things normally don't go my way, of course, the window-seat-compression-sock-wearing neighbor of mine pulls out a Big Mac. Like, really? You have the nervous flight farts and you're gonna top it off with a Big Mac? Sh!t fire.
I told my SIL that I HAD to go to the bathroom. I'm normally not a claustrophobic person but the farts were starting to close in on me. Just my luck, the stewardesses were delivering drinks at that time so I couldn't get to my designated toilet. Whatever. At this point, I just have to get away from the smell so I high-tailed it to first class. I didn't actually have to go but I needed an escape. It's bad when you go to an airplane potty to escape the smell next to you. Just suck on that for a second.
Anyways, I reluctantly returned to my seat. And, my Big-Mac-Eating-Compression-Sock-Wearing-Polo-Wafting-Nervous-Fart-Window-Seat neighbor did her due diligence to make the rest of my flight a stinky one.
I'm the one with a bag here, people. But, it was awful. I'll never fly again.

Hello IHateColons. What a great story and a very entertaining read.
I used to fly regularly and had many such experiences but I found that the worst of them was when I was literally squashed between two huge people who did not seem to be able to smell their own body odour. I must have spent about eight hours walking around the plane until the steward came and asked if I would return to my seat. I pointed out that, in practical terms I did not have a seat. The two people on either side were effectively spilling over into the space between them where my seat had been. The steward smiled and apologised for the inconvenience. He came back a few minutes later to tell me that he had found an alternative seat for me.
I sometimes contemplate that incident and wonder why the airlines don't charge people for their overall weight like they do with the luggage. At least this would give me the chance of having a cheaper flight even if it does turn out to be an unpleasant experience.
Best wishes
Best wishes
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Hi all, I think maybe it would have been a face-off time to see whose was worse by burping your bag, especially with her trying to eat.


I know it wasn't much fun living that trip, but it was fun reading it. You have a good attitude. You need to write a book on your experiences as you navigate this life.


Hints for flying...
- Isle seat always within a few rows of the bathroom
- Turn the air on full blast, at least for me since I run hot anyway, keeps smells away
- No carbonated drinks

I've flown to Europe twice since getting an ostomy and other than bathroom breaks every two hours, which is also stretching my legs, anyway they have gone well with the exception of US airport security. Apparently, an ostomy bag is a potential bomb and that combined with two titanium hips means calling the supervisor over to hand search me and use bomb detecting wipes on me. Funny how that doesn't happen in Nederland or Iceland...

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Hello Cascadian Aaron. Thanks for your post as I was beginning to think that it was just me and US airport security. I used to travel to New Zealand from the UK and back every year via the USA and never once did I get the impression from the US airport security that I was at all welcome in their country. Eventually I took the hint and flew the other way around via Singapore and the difference was remarkable. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly on the Eastern route that it made me wonder why I ever persevered with travelling via the USA for all those years. I would just like to add that I have been to stay in the USA many times and once past security I found the people on the interior just as welcoming as in the East. However, getting past security is so off putting. I have often thought that these people are the ones that give all important 'first-impression' of a country and they should be trained to be more respectful and less brusque and rude to passengers from overseas. Especially to those who are already tired after a long-haul flight. Mind you, they did sting me to write a couple of poems on the subject of 'smiling' and the concept that a smile costs nothing and can mean so much.
Best wishes

I hate colons, your post made me chuckle as I have also experienced nervous tooting passengers surrounding me while flying; both before and after my surgery. Ugh! Once, while returning from Europe, some stomach flu was going around and there was a line for the toilet...not pleasant in an airplane. Thanks for your post. I prefer driving to flying today as my mode of transportation as well... Take care. LH

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