On an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Kona, Hawaii, a clogged toilet forced the passengers to resort to peeing in bottles and plastic bags.
Six-hour-long flights are bad enough. Frankly, any amount of time stuck inside of a cramped airliner is low on the list of things people enjoy doing. Yes, based on objective measurables, flying is the safest and most convenient way to arrive at a destination more than a few hours driving distance. But in the heat of the moment, it sure doesn’t feel that way. Throw in out-of-order bathrooms on the plane, and many people would probably prefer to swim to Hawaii.
Arizona’s KPNX 12News reports:
American Airlines confirmed there were issues on the flight. However, the airline said the plane took off with working bathrooms. It was later discovered a diaper had been flushed down one of the toilets, causing the problems, according to American Airlines.
The airline released a statement, saying in part:
We are very sorry for the trouble this caused 187 passengers on flight 663. Our customer relations team will be reaching out to all of the passengers on this flight to extend our apologies.
At American, lavatories must be working properly prior to departure. If an American flight is in the air, and all lavatories become inoperative, the flight will divert to the nearest suitable airport in order for maintenance to rectify the situation. Due to the location of the aircraft, the flight continued to its intended destination. The issue was subsequently rectified upon arrival in Kona, and our flight returned to Phoenix as scheduled.
One passenger recorded a flight attendant telling her that she would have to pee in a bag. Explaining the situation to the passenger, the flight attendant told her, “they’re overflowing.” According to the passenger, the smell inside the lavatories was too bad to enter to even use the plastic bags.
There was one lady who, unfortunately she had a toddler that needed to use the restroom, and same thing. She was told she had to use a bag. She opened the door to the toilet, and the grimace on her face … you could tell she was going to get sick to her stomach because of the sight and the smell.
American Airlines has given the passengers enough AAdvantage Miles to equal a free round-trip flight. However, I agree with the passenger who recorded the video who doesn’t believe that’s enough to compensate for what the passengers went through. I also think that if the individual who tried to flush a diaper down the toilet can be found, that person should be banned from flying.