An airplane bathroom may be the worst possible place to do your business but when you are 25,000 feet up in the sky, what are your other options? They are small, inconvenient and not the most sanitary places, but when nature calls and you have nowhere else to go.
We talked to some flight attendants who shared with us their awesome airplane bathroom hacks. When is the best time to go, what you should bring, how to deal with the smell and when are the worst times to use the airplane restroom. Don’t be stuck thousands of feet in the sky with nowhere to go number 2 because there is a huge line, follow our airplane bathroom guide.
When to go
Flight attendants told us that there are two perfect times to use the airplane bathroom with having people lined up outside waiting. First is right after the pilot turns off the seatbelt signs. This window closes fast so be ready. Once the plane takes off, it usually takes about 5 minutes to reach cruising altitude, this is the height that the plane levels off and becomes flatter in the air. This is your opportunity so don’t let it slip away. Be prepared to get up the second the seatbelt sign goes off. You would have about 10 minutes to do your business without people lined up outside. Flight attendants will be just getting up from their jump seats so you won’t have anyone in the aisles to block your path.
The second perfect window is right before the flight attendants start their drink service. Flight attendants don’t like when people are up during the drink service since the carts take up the entire walkway. Getting up right before their drink service takes some timing and situational awareness. Pay attention to the flight attendants, they should all be in the galley area prepping their drink carts, so this is your chance. Pop up quickly before they have a chance to tell you to sit down. Now you’ll have up to 10 minutes all alone in the bathroom. Also the best time to join the “mile-High Club,” if you know what I mean! Don’t stay more than 10 minutes or a flight attendant may come knock on the door and ruin the moment.
What to bring
I always travel with bathroom wipes because we all know how cheap airplane bathroom toilet paper is. Something to read is always a nice touch, but don’t be obvious, we don’t need the whole plane to know what’s going on.
The smell can get you in trouble, not literally, just embarrassing. The flight attendant we spoke with told us a great hack. She brings a packet of coffee grounds into the lavatory to soak up the odor. Ask the flight attendant; they will happily give you one, because everyone will suffer if not. They will be trapped in the same sardine can as everyone else, so they want a no stink situation too.
Times to avoid
Right before landing is a terrible time to go to the bathroom. The flight attendants will be upset and the bathroom can be a little bumpy during landings.
The worst time to go is about 15 minutes after the seatbelt sign is taken away. This gives people time to realize they have to use the restroom so the line can be ridiculous.
Good luck and use the airplane restroom at these optimum times.