Flight Attendant Tells Passengers to ‘Go in a Bottle’ After Toilets Malfunction on 6 Hour Hawaii Flight

Last Friday, on August 31, American Airlines flight AA663 from Phoenix to Kona lost all of its functioning lavatories. A passenger reports that “only one restroom at the front of the plane was open, but that the toilet was overflowing.” This gives new meaning to the age-old question of whether coach passengers should use the first class lavatory.

A passenger flushed a diaper down the toilet and that caused the whole system to stop functioning midway through the six and a half hour flight.

Here an American Airlines flight attendant explains to a woman that she’s going to have to use a bag, and that male passengers have been using bottles instead of the toilet.

That’s better than the American Airlines passenger who decided to just go at his seat. And unlike this Ryanair flight attendant, she didn’t try to charge passengers extra for using a bottle.

According to the airline they would normally divert the aircraft but since they were overwater that wouldn’t have helped passengers ‘go’ more quickly.

At American, lavatories must be working properly prior to departure…If an American flight is in the air, and all lavatories become inoperative, the flight will divert to the nearest suitable airport in order for maintenance to rectify the situation. Due to the location of the aircraft, the flight continued to its intended destination. The issue was subsequently rectified upon arrival in Kona, and our flight returned to Phoenix as scheduled.

When New Smaller Lavatories are the Standard This Might Be Even Worse

In fact American did send out a two and a half hour flight three years ago without a working lavatory. Passengers on the Westchester, New York – Chicago flight were given the choice to fly or not knowing there was no working lavatory although they weren’t given compensation if they opted not to travel.

Passengers on the Kona flight have received compensation from the airline for instance one apparently received 30,000 AAdvantage miles, and another 17,000 miles plus $240 in travel vouchers. Unfortunately compensation comes from the airline rather than from the passenger who flushed a diaper down the toilet.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. of course the AA flight attendant doesn’t care
    she wears depends anyway…..probably started wearing them 20 years ago…when she was 60….

  2. What exactly did you expect the FA to say?

    THERE WERE NO WORKING LAVS. If you have to go that bad, and can’t hold it in until you land, then you’re going to have be an adult and figure it out for yourself.

    Holy cow, are people really this unable to fend for themselves that they can’t survive for a few hours longer?

    Again: what did people expect the crew to do? There was *nothing* they were able to do.

  3. @Richard – You stole my response!
    Although the solution for males is easier than females, as you said, what was the flight crew supposed to do????

  4. How about people don’t flush a damn diaper down the toilet? You don’t do that at home, don’t do it on a plane. Crazy

  5. @Doug – LOL, no doubt.

    @ LAXJeff – You can’t make anything idiot proof because there will ALWAYS be a bigger idiot.

    I think the punishment for flushing a diaper down an airplane lav is the offender be required to reach down into the tank with both hands and fish around for it before the tank is drained. Only one of those weak-ass asian lav tissues will be given for cleanup.

  6. Whoever flushed a diaper down the toilet needs to be criminally prosecuted. At the very least for vandalism but they ought to pile on the charges and get as many to stick as possible. That is just completely unacceptable behavior with very dire consequences. Lock her up!

  7. Ray,

    You say “lock her up”.

    The diaper flusher could be a male. 😉

    Criminal prosecution for flushing a diaper on a plane? Good luck with finding a prosecutor and a jury willing and able to convict for such event. 😉

  8. Hi Ray,

    I’m very sympathetic to your idea of criminal prosecution, and I suggest adding a heavy dose of public humiliation on top of that. BUT, I respectfully beg your pardon! What do you know that we don’t? “Lock her up!”? How do you know it’s a “her” at the root-cause of this no-joke mid-air crisis?

    I’ve changed more than my share of diapers for my kids and my grandson, both on the ground and enroute (including trans-Pacific), and I’m not ashamed of it! And for sure, I know lots of other guys with a sufficiently low IQ that have also changed their children’s diapers, and would be initially clueless as to how to sort out disposing of the soiled thing at 30K+ feet AGL. (Put it in a barf-bag (if really toxic, double bag it), close completely and carefully, place in the lav trash container if it fits, or politely handoff to an FA for disposal. Really not so hard.)



  9. Cabin crew are not magicians. they cannot make toilets appear or start working air mid air. what did the people expect them to do?

    on the other hand did they penalize the passenger who flushed the diaper down? you don’t need a high IQ to figure what you flush and what you don’t. simple common sense would do.

  10. I’d love a lesson in airplane plumbing to know how a diaper flushed in one toilet bothered every other toilet on the plane. Last time a toilet was plugged in my house all the other toilets still worked.

  11. there are 4 lavs in 752, 1 of them is full, other one with a diaper, how about those 2 remaining?

  12. Ban the offender from all airlines.

    Make them take a class in diaper changing and disposal before being allowed to take another flight.

  13. @Robert – I’ve had wet wipes plug up a main sewer line at a rental house which caused the entire house to be flooded with black water. I totally understand how it can happen. The main issue would be where in the plane’s sanitary system the diaper got lodged. My guess is that it wasn’t in the toilet line but the main line.

    The flight crew and AA made the right call.

  14. Now now
    American has promptly issued 5 dollar vouchers good on their next flight
    or 25 miles to all affected passengers their choice

  15. Had a tenant in a rental house that was flushing diapers down the toilet upstairs. Clog caused a leak into one of the downstairs bedrooms and they wanted compensation for the days it took to repair the damage. Tenants.

  16. Should be easy to find out the offender.
    Just look at the list of babies in the plane and narrow down the suspect.
    But it would be funny if there was no baby on the plane and the offending object was indeed depends flushed by the granny FA.

  17. I’ve seem a bunch of pilot/flight attendant videos before. This FA was dealt a terribly poor hand. As gross as the situation was, she handled it with alacrity. She was honest. She was forthright. Sha managed the situation as best as she could.

    I hope the passenger has no complaints about the FA.

  18. These snowflakes kill me. Its not the FA’s fault that some dumbass tried to flush a diaper down the toilet. What the hell did she think the answer was going to be when told there were no working lavatories.

  19. Sam. May not be a baby. Could be a old person wearing depends or women with leakage issues or even a middleage guy like you who just likes to feel like a baby a wears diapers because it excites him sexually. Do NOT make assumptions.

  20. Dillon is an idiot who doesn’t have reading comprehension.
    Just read the comment about hundred times, and see if you can comprehend it.

  21. The person who flushed the diaper down the toilet needs to be publicly shamed. That person’s selfish actions caused EVERY fare paying person to be completely inconvenienced for an entire flight. I am sick of experiencing complete inconvenience for inconsiderate stupid people! Their actions affect MY personal safety! How much more narcissistic can society get? If the diaper flusher actually thought of others, they wouldn’t have hit Flush!

  22. What’s the deal with the passenger who did this? She should be fined or forbidden to fly. This is nuts. What is wrong with people?

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