Home » Who Brings a Book to the Airplane Lavatory!? (Observations from the back of the plane)
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Who Brings a Book to the Airplane Lavatory!? (Observations from the back of the plane)

by Jeremy B

Frequent flyers rarely get treated to unpleasant airplane seating. Our “status” and knowledge of the systems and processes travelers use almost guarantees we get a decent if not great seat. Almost.

Occasionally, though, we have to fly on an airplane we don’t have status on or we get lazy and forget to do something we were supposed to (like check in on time with Southwest) or we have extremely last minute flight plans and get stuck with less than desirable seating. And when you do get that crappy seat it gives you a chance to more deeply appreciate your status and if you are a blogger it gives you something to write about!

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For example, this week’s trip took me from ONT to SFO to MCO…then after a few hours at a conference from MCO to ORD for two days and then MDW to PHX to ONT. If you are counting time zones that’s Pacific, Eastern, Central and Arizona (which does their own thing on time even though it’s technically Mountain).

Much of this trip was very last minute and booked on airlines I don’t travel very often (American and United) and one I do travel often: Southwest. From SFO to MCO I was literally the very last seat on the airplane…an aisle…for the 5 hours it took to fly to Orlando.


When you are in the back of the bus…you see some interesting things. And it reminded me of an old post I’d wrote almost a year ago about the back of the an airplane. I’ve dusted it off and republished parts of it below.

Observations from the back of the plane

  1. The back of plane is filled with wonderful people – totally different than the front/over-wing exit. People who are poor planners like college students, or older couples who’ve not traveled in a while, or families trying to get away from everyone else and stay close the bathroom. Fragments of families all spread out because they couldn’t sit together. Budget conscious travelers. All great folks…but not what you see up front typically by the seasoned travel pro.
  2. By hour 2, back-of-the-bussers are staring at people’s crotches the rest of the flight. When you sit in the back of the plane, aisle seat, you basically are looking at people’s crotches starting as soon as the seat belt sign goes off as they all queue up for the lavatory. Occasionally, while people are squeezing by each other someone will lean their body much farther into your personal space which is super not awesome. And honestly, some people could freshen up in general.
  3. Everyone ogles what you are watching on your phone while they are standing in the bathroom line. Hey I do it too when I am standing in line.
  4. And by the way, who brings a book to the airplane lavatory with them??? Seriously. And no, it was not a guy. I’ve never seen this before…but yes, someone took a book with them into the lav. Impressive.
  5. You are the last to get served anything and the coffee is usually lukewarm)
  6. It is a short trip to the bano if you need it so that’s a plus.
  7. Anyone’s bathroom “issues” are smelt by you the rest of the flight.
  8. You get to overhear the flight attendants complaining about the normal stuff employee’s complain about like their job, or the stupid decisions management makes, etc. Sometimes, on taxi they may even chat with you.
  9. When the plane lands you are the last one off so stay seated for the next 20-30 minutes!
  10. I am always surprised at how rude people are to flight attendants. “Bring me a coffee” or “I need a blanket” etc. People often come back to gripe.
  11. On the plus side, supposedly sitting in the back of the plane will increase your chances of survival. I guess.

So there, you have it. What’s your experience at the back of the plane? Share it with us by dropping a comment or tweeting us. If you liked this content, please do us a favor share it on social media and click the “like” button below and don’t forget to follow us on social media including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

If you want to learn how to avoid getting crappy seats, and how to uplevel your travel game in general you need to check out 147 Business Travel Tips. 

And, of course, if you are interested in more travel tips and travel advice and product reviews, you might like these great articles:


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