A few weeks ago, I boarded a plane  bound for Sydney Australia. Sitting next to me was the most wonderful research scientist traveling with her beautiful 11 year old daughter, who happens to be the same age as Zoe. Once she told me she met Dr. Watson of Crick and Watson – the two men responsible for discovering the double-helix structure of the DNA – there was no pulling out of the conversation. She was such a sweet woman, the type your spirit connects with immediately, at least the time my spirits loves. She had me at hello. In any event, we chatted for the entire first leg of the flight, which ended in LAX. 

The journey got really interesting during the second leg of the flight, when a passenger who sat directly in front of me began to pass gas, or like Zoe would say, she started to “fluff.” And my goodness she kept fluffing and fluffing and fluffing, all the way to Sydney. This woman never let up. Even in her sleep the flatulence persisted.

All the while, me and my new traveling buddies were miserable. I’m talking about smells that woke me out of a benadryl, induced sleep. We called the flight attendant over, and as expected he said there wasn’t anything he could do, which I understood. What was he going to do? Send her in the hole or make an emergency stop to let her off? Hardly. He was lovely enough however, to bring some tissue soaked with the bathroom cleaning solution. Though I knew it was toxic, it was way more pleasant smelling that what we were experiencing. 

That said, I think there are things people should be considerate about when on a plane or even in an office or closed settings. No one’s expecting anyone to hold their bodily functions. If you gotta go, you gotta go. But be considerate of others who have no choice but to be in close proximity to you. Once, twice, even three times, but every 15 to 20 minutes, for 14 hours? Too much to bear. 

On the return flight, all was good during the first leg to LAX, then on the second leg, I was lucky enough to have a row all to my self. Unfortunately, the women in front of me also had a row to herself, and two hours before the plane touches down in JFK, she begins to let loose. I guess she was enjoying her comfy, 3 seat bedding, and felt to relaxed to get up. It’s so true that what you believe you conceive, and your thoughts become your reality. I was thinking about the likelyhood of that happening again a bit too much, and the very thing happened. This time I stood up and said out loud, as if I was talking to myself  “that is disgusting. There is a bathroom, use it. There’s no one sitting next to you.” She ignored me, of course, but about 10 minutes later she got up and went to the bathroom.

Seriously, this was the first time I’d every experience anything so horrible while flying. Like I said before I know people have to go sometimes, it was just too much on this 14 hour journey. Even my little Zoe has let loose on a plane before, but I quickly nipped it in the butt. She was hilarious. I heard her repeating, “excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,” so I asked why are you saying excuse me? And she said, “I’m fluffing.” Luckily it didn’t smell. I nipped it in the but immediately, and explained to her that it’s ok, but she had to also be considerate of those around her. From that point on, I buy her gas pills and have her abstain from dairy and beans before and inflight.

It takes a village, right? We gotta help each other out in situations like these. Here are three things to do to make travel more tolerant for yourself and those around you:

1. Get up and use the bathroom when you need too. Forget about offending those next to you by having them step into the aisle. Trust me they’ll appreciate that more than the alternative.

2. Buy some form of gas medication. Something that will curb the flatulence. Goodness, it’s not ok for others to have to smell your stank.

3. Don’t eat foods you know will trigger a fluffy reaction. In other words, abstain from gassy foods before you arrive at the airport and during the flight.


Have you ever experienced anything like this while flying? Tell us your story or share your remedies for the situation. I’d love to hear from you.



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