The Best Time To Poop On A Plane, According To A Flight Attendant

The Best Time To Poop On A Plane, According To A Flight Attendant

While there’s never truly a “good time” to use the toilet in a crowded, cramped metal tube hurling through the sky at 805km an hour, some times are more comfortable than others. Here’s what a professional flyer recommends if you’re worried about privacy and being considerate to other passengers.

Photo by Karl Baron.

Pooping in public places isn’t easy for a lot of people. Maybe you worry about the smell, or perhaps you hate the idea of holding up a line. Whatever it is, don’t stress. Over at Mel Magazine, former flight attendant Erika Roth lays out a few tips for nervous pooers who don’t want to try and hold it during a cross-country flight.

Timing is everything, says Roth. As soon as the seat belt sign goes off, make a break for the lavatory. If that’s not an option, the next best time is right before drink service begins. People see the carts coming down the aisle and don’t want to miss their opportunity to snag a free Fresca and some peanuts, so they stay in their seats. This gives you a small window of privacy if you think fast.

If you’re worried about the smell, Roth suggests you ask for some coffee ground packets and hang them up in the lavatory before you do your business. The flight attendants will know what’s going on, but at least you won’t stink up the cabin for everybody else. A small bottle of air freshener spray might be good to pack too.

Just don’t try to cover up the smell with cologne or perfume as that will only make things worse for everyone else. And don’t dilly dally if you can help it. Roth says to only take as much time as you need or you might get knocks at your door, which will only make you more uncomfortable.


  • Try to avoid the last hour of a long flight, when the toilets smell like hell, and have soggy toilet tissue stuck to every surface.

    Does this instantly reveal that I always fly coach?

  • I avoid plane toilets like the plague, usually its pretty easy for me for any flight up-to 5 hours.

    1) Have light meals the day before, and do not gorge on the plane
    2) have a coffee or two a few hours before the flight to “stimulate” any need to use the bathroom before the flight.
    3) buy a big bottle of water at the airport to hydrate on the plane but drink it sparingly or you will need to goto the bathroom frequently.
    4) always pack some anti-bacterial wet wipes on your carry on that are great for sanitising and refreshing your hands, face, tray table, armrests, toilet seat etc, sounds a bit over the top but most planes have a small window of opportunity to get cleaned before its off to its next destination, and its better to be overzealous while on a plane than to get sick when you arrive at your destination.

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