Why You Should Go to the Bathroom Before Boarding Your Flight

Boarding lasts 20 minutes or so, if you’re in the gate area at the start of boarding and you have to ‘go’ you really should do it before getting on the plane.

Sneaking into the lav while passengers are trying to get down the aisle slows things down.

Sure, sometimes it’s necessary — maybe your inbound flight was late and you make it to your connecting gate just before they’re going to shut the doors and you have to go.

But here’s the risk. If you do it right before takeoff, and it takes you awhile. . .

Female passenger left trapped in lavatory on British Airways plane as it sped down the runway and took off:

A female passenger found herself trapped in the lavatory on board a British Airways plane as it hurtled down the runway and took off.

As the plane gathered speed the embarrassed young woman sheepishly stepped out of the toilet, only to be ordered back inside by a screaming air stewardess.

Moments later the packed Gatwick-bound flight took off – with the passenger still locked in the toilet without a seatbelt to anchor her to the lavatory.

The woman was only allowed to return to her seat after the flight was safely in the air and the seatbelt warning lights had been switched off.

The flight was from Amsterdam to London-Gatwick.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. A few years ago, I had an attack of food poisoning that hit after I boarded an AF flight from ORY to BCN but before takeoff. There was no way I could return to my seat.

    The flight attendant knocked on the lav door and asked me to go back, but I told her there was no way, so she said, “Hold on!”, and off we went.

    Fortunately, the climb wasn’t too choppy, and I was able to leave the loo after a few minutes.

    Not fun….

  2. Not quite as dramatic, but I was trapped in the lavatory next to door 1L on a 757 because the cockpit door was open with the doorstop during boarding, which prevent me from opening the lavatory door while I’m inside. This is why there is a flight attendant call button inside the bathroom – it’s a different tone from other tones so they know it’s a distress call from the lavatory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.