Farting on board

I once spent 13 hours seated next to a man who broke wind continuously across the Pacifc from La. On disembarking, a flight attendant asked him if his stomach was feeling better? I could have assured her that it wasn’t!

I was interested to read of a recent paper produced by a team of Danish and British gastroenterologists and published in the NZ Medical Journal. The lead researcher Jacob Rosenberg considered the issue worth researching after his own embarassing experience on a flight between Copenhagen and Tokyo.

The study recommends passengers and crew break wind on board as its less dangerous to personal health than “keeping it in”. Not farting they say results in discomfort and even pain, bloating, dyspepsia (indigestion)or pyrosis (heartburn).

To deal with the problem, the team considered:
Passengers wearing rubber pants with an attached air container for collecting gas
putting active charcoal in passenger seats
Encouragingbpassengers to wear charcoal-lined underwear
Conducting pre flight methane breath tests
reducing fibre in airline meals

Perhaps security checks could include ensuring passengers a wearing charcoal underwear?

For pilots, however, there are some serious safety issues. For example: if the pilot “lets go of the fart, his co-pilot may be affected by its odour, which again reduces safety onboard the flight.

On the one hand, if the pilot restrains a fart, all the drawbacks previously mentioned, including impaired concentration, may affect his abilities to control the plane.”

What advice would you give in a pilot training course?



  1. I always thought those little foam cylinders in the amenity kits were earplugs but now I’m thinking maybe they are for my nostrils.

  2. It only makes SCENTS! But if the flight attendant won’t help you find a new seat, you need to say “TOOTles”, be a “do it your SULFUR”, and move seats in an ODORly fashion.

  3. The food, the food, specially on foreign (Asian) airlines. That is why I prefer US airlines over Asian. Who the hell has soup and noodles for breakfast?

  4. I am a gastric cancer survivor and sometimes passing gas can be embarrassing, especially in public places, like on the plane. When I feel my stomach is getting up, I do not want to go out at all if I can. Please be courteous to people who have medical problems.

  5. Quick fix for this is an Chinese herbal formula consisting of three herbs: Hou Po (Magnolia Bark), Zhi Shi (immature bitter orange), and Xiao Hui Xiang (fennel). You can get these in extract form so just put a little of the powder or tincture in a cup, add warm water, drink down.

    Talk to your acupuncturist/traditional Chinese herbalist (or me, haha)! It will work for you.

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