Subourbon Mom


Maximum Security — Airplane Restrooms

images-4The day President Obama announced he was officially asking Congress for permission to actively combat ISIS, I was flying home from a work conference. The plane during the flight from Charlotte to home was one of those old, outsourced planes from Canada, or maybe some company called Metal-Tube-in-the-Sky Airline. There were two rows of seats (and those felt like the old plastic covered couches in Grandma’s house) with a very narrow aisle.

About halfway through the flight, the flight attendant came on the loud speaker and said, “Please do not form a line by the bathrooms. It is a security breach.”

A few of us glanced at each other and shrugged. There was some rustling, and I assumed people were returning to their seats. A couple of minutes later, the flight attendant spoke again, this time more urgently:

“It is a breach of security for passengers to congregate by the bathrooms. Please wait until there is no one in line before you come back to use the restrooms.”

Incredulous looks passed around the cabin. Security breach? At the bathrooms?

Here are a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind while I tried to decide how long I should wait before heading back there:

First of all, I’m pretty sure folks weren’t “congregating” around the airplane bathroom, just chatting each other up—after all, it’s not a bar.

images-1Second, what happened to make someone think congregating by the plane’s bathroom could create a security situation so dire it must be forbidden? Have the FAA and Homeland Security folks ever used the bathroom on a modern plane? There’s barely room to get your pants down, much less withdraw a weapon; and, even if you did manage to extract some kind of weapon in the bathroom, having a line of people waiting outside would only hinder what you were trying to do.

If I were to have some kind of concealed weapon, I wouldn’t be getting it ready it at the back of the plane, far away from the two most important people on the plane, the pilot and co-pilot. There’s not much sense in drawing a gun, knife or explosive device and then having to charge down the aisle, tripping over someone’s feet the whole way.

images-5If we follow the logic of the danger of congregating outside crowded bathroom areas to its logical conclusion, we would have to question every line at every sports and concert event ever. Good luck dispersing the six-pack-in throng around the port-a-pods at a Jimmy Buffet concert.

Perhaps someone at the FAA has gone back to the basics of physics—maybe they are worried that if you have enough people standing at the back of the plane, it could simply fall out of the sky. If you’ve ever flown on a tiny plane, you’ve been made aware of weight distribution. They put the luggage in the back, and people in the front and middle. Too much in any direction, and the plane is in danger of not taking off, or tumbling to the ground–like those GI Joe’s with the plastic parachutes we threw from 2nd-floor windows as a kid.

Really, a bathroom security breach sounds more like a blow-out after eating some highly-questionable tuna salad from the airport snack stand. So, to the FAA and Homeland Security, I salute your efforts to keep us safe in the skies—clearly there are dangers we haven’t even conceived of. Keep up the good work.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Funny! But watch out next time you fly- you are going to be on the “watch” list.

Comment by Patrice

I know–I think they’ve got my pics up all over a wall somewhere, and not in a Greta Garbo kind of way…

Comment by libbyhall

So funny. Love the photo of the man wedged in between the toilet and sink with his pants down.

Comment by energywriter

That’s how I always feel when I’m in one of those! They completely creep me out!

Comment by libbyhall

Hilarious, left a comment. Have you ever tried to take a toddler to one of those bathrooms. The flight attendant said, “Only one person in the bathroom at a time.” I replied something like he’s only two and can’t get his pants down and up by himself. She said, Well do the best you can. So I stripped him down in the aisle and redressed him in the aisle. I’m sure mothers of little girls weren’t happy about that. sd

Comment by energywriter

I remember doing that…and then I discovered the miracle that it Benedryl for children…:)

Comment by libbyhall




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