Plane passenger spends take-off in the toilet


British Airways plane

Passengers on a British Airways flight from Amsterdam have claimed that a woman spent take-off in the toilet. Apparently she tried to leave the cubicle as it the plane picked up speed on the runway, and was ordered back in by a stewardess. She had to stay on the toilet until the plane reached cruising altitude.

So what went wrong?

A report in the Daily Mail claimed that a plane travelling from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport to Gatwick had just set off down the runway when a woman emerged from a toilet cubicle.

She was ordered back in by an air steward who said it was too dangerous to be in the cabin, so the woman was told to stay there until the seat belt light had been switched off.

A British Airways spokesperson told AOL: "We are investigating why the woman who was being unwell was still in one of the toilets as the aircraft started to accelerate on the runway. She remained in the toilet as the aircraft took off. As the plane reached its cruise phase, she came out of the toilet and was spoken to by our cabin crew about the issue."

What went wrong?

There are good reasons banning people from the toilet during take off and landing. It is unsafe to use the toilet during these times, so FAA regulations require all passengers to return to their seats as soon as the plane pulls away from the gate. The pilot will announce this before setting off from the gate, and you will be told that the toilets are not to be used until the seat belt signs are off.

The air stewards will check that everyone is in their seats has their seat belt fastened, and that there is no-one in the toilet. It's unknown in this instance whether the woman was away from her seat when the plane left the gate, or whether she had her seat belt checked in the seat and then sneaked unnoticed into the toilets.

Not alone

This sort of incident is rare, but it does happen occasionally. Caz Makepeace, a travel blogger from Australia wrote that she once saw an elderly lady emerge from the toilets just after take off on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Australia. She emerged unconcerned, and was ordered to take the seat immediately outside the toilets as the turbulence risked knocking her off her feet.

Usually trips to the toilet do not go unnoticed - something which Alec Baldwin possibly wishes he had known earlier. On an AA flight at Los Angeles airport a couple of years ago, he tried to escape to the toilet so he could carry on texting while the plane sat at the gate. He was ordered to return to his seat, and after a disagreement with the cabin crew, he was asked to leave the plane.

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