What Comes Up . . .
Sometimes the nastiest topics come up in our weekly online chats (held most Mondays at 2 p.m., if you haven't checked them out before). And almost always, the nastiest topics generate the most response.
Take last Monday's chat. Please. Here's what a reader posted:
"I was on a tiny commuter jet recently, and for the first time in a long time, got air sick. The flight attendant was, shall we say, less than helpful. I get that it's not pleasant, but since they put those nice bags in everyone's seat pocket, it must happen to more people than just me. She told me to carry the bag with me into the airport and throw it out there. "
I jumped on top of the subject and was properly disgusted, though gleefully so. Numerous readers came forth with their own tales of woe, and in many flight attendants didn't come out looking too great.
But what is the policy? If you get sick on a plane, is there a protocol? I asked Corey Caldwell, spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, for her take. She told me that it's "customary for flight attendants to remove the vomit bag. They should put on gloves and bring a trash bag over."
The problem, Caldwell said, is that airlines aren't required to provide gloves to their attendants, and most are loath to handle vomit due to some of the biohazards involved. "Without gloves," she said, "the situation becomes much more difficult." Makes sense to me. In addition, she said there may have been other variables at work. Maybe the plane was landing and the attendant didn't have enough time. Maybe the plane was out of trash bags or didn't have a place for trash.
In any case, I feel for anyone who gets sick on an airplane. It's never happened to me, but my wife got sick one time on a flight back from Maine. (That's a great way to make two-hour flight feel like a transatlantic jaunt, by the way.) Ideally, no plane should ever be out of plastic bags, every plane should have gloves for their attendants -- and no passenger should have to sit in a dinky commuter jet with a bag of puke in their lap.
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Posted by: 23112 | March 16, 2007 3:23 PM
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