A former cabin crew member has detailed a mistake passengers frequently commit in aeroplane toilets that presents a “high risk” for things getting “out of control”.
The ex-pilot advised men to sit down when using the restroom to prevent unwanted surprises in case of turbulence, which often strikes out of the blue.
Plane lavatories have shrunk over the years to create greater capacity for passengers seats, leaving little room for manoeuvre inside the cubicles.
The toilets use a vacuum system patented in the mid-70s, which is still deemed the most efficient and hygienic apparatus for the disposal of waste.
The waste is then contained in blue ice; a frozen sewage system that holds all the bodily fluids until the aircraft reaches its destination.
The confined space in the reconfigured stalls means passengers often contend with unwelcome surprises, but precautionary measures do exist.
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A former airplane pilot recently discussed the complexities of using aircraft toilets for men in a Quora thread titled “How easy is it for men to pee aboard a moving airplane?”, where he made several note-worthy statements about hygiene in cubicles.
The post read: “On a smooth flight, using the lavatory in the traditional, manly way is pretty easy. It’s about the same as peeing in a phone booth.
“At the risk of seeming ‘un-manly’,” he continued, “the prudent thing to do during turbulence is to sit down to pee”.
“Otherwise there is a high risk of things getting out of control, so to speak, and causing pee to go everywhere including on yourself. Forget the macho bit, nobody’s watching anyway.”
It comes as several other flight attendants have issued a stark warning to passengers who use toilets on board without wearing shoes.
It has been claimed on multiple occasions in recent years that the floors inside toilet stalls are covered in bodily fluids, which poses a risk of infection for anyone with an open wound on their foot.
In 2021, Jagdish Khubchandani, a public health professor at New Mexico State University shared his thoughts on the case, saying: “On long-duration flights, I have noticed people – often, kids – walk barefoot towards or into the bathroom.
“This is a very unhygienic tendency with potential for infection if someone has cuts and injuries on their foot.”
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