Flying with Funk

Last week on my flight home the man behind me smelled like feces.  I don’t know how much time he had at the airport (this was not a hub so it is unlikely he had a connection), but after putting his bags in the overhead and under the seat he headed back to the lav.  He came back not smelling nearly as bad and at that point it started to seem like he had a medical condition.  Since I was in front of him I wasn’t about to turn around and stare, but he had some paper towels he was using for wiping and he had some odor neutralizing spray he kept spraying.

Considering the fact that he could wipe while seated I assumed this may have been a colostomy.  I’ve never known if I have been around one, but I was always told they typically don’t smell.

I know I don’t always plan my eating well and end up smelling on an airplane, but to smell as bad as he did on an Embraer-145 was very inconvenient to the plane for 2 hours.  Since it sounded like it was a medical issue and not just “oops i crapped my pants” I didn’t complain to the FA.  The passengers across from me who made interesting faces as the man sat down didn’t say anything either.  I do appreciate the fact that he did clean up on the plane, but still it was not a fun flight.


  1. Really, someone’s surgery (cancer?) forcing them to potentially be embarrassed…I’m as guilty as anyone, I suppose, but thanks for the reminder to be considerate of someone’s feelings for a couple of hours.

  2. As disturbed as I would be, I can only imagine the embarassement of the gentleman and would not say anything if it were a short flight. However, if I were flying to Europe, for instance, I would say something to the flight attendant to make a discrete move without any undue embarassement to the passenger with the problem.

  3. He clearly knew there was a problem, and it must have felt horrible. On a short flight, I would just suck it up, and do my best to look oblivious so he wouldn’t feel even more badly.

Comments are closed.