Galley Gossip: 20 ways to use a maxi pad in flight

Before I share the list – 20 ways to use a maxi-pad in flight, I first must explain
how this post even came to be. I don’t want you to think I spend my time sitting around thinking about maxi pads. Trust me, there’s a method to the madness.

So there I sat at La Guardia airport in New York inside flight service operations, relaxing in a beat up, reclining chair, not watching the weather channel on the screen in front of me. I’d been sitting there for hours due to the fact it was my turn to serve standby. For those of you who aren’t familiar with airline lingo, standby is a term used when flight attendants on reserve are required to spend three to six hours, depending on the airline, at the airport just sitting around and waiting to be called out to work a flight in case someone doesn’t show up at the last minute. At my airline, this happens once or twice every reserve month.

On that particular day Sean sat in the recliner beside me. He’d been cracking me up since the moment I’d sat down. Now I’ve written about Sean in the past. In fact, he was the lead flight attendant, the one in charge, in the Galley Gossip post about a child who had gotten lost in first class. At some point our conversation turned serious and Sean shared a story about a medical emergency that forced him to become quite resourceful and do something that impressed me greatly. He used a maxi pad as a bandaid.

“You’re brilliant, Sean. You really are. I would have never thought of doing something like that,” I said, and that’s when it hit me, “hey, we should make a list of all the different ways we could use a maxi pad in flight!” We didn’t make the list, but we did laugh about it.

Flash forward three months later. On a flight to Los Angeles, I walked into the galley, looked up, and saw it – a maxi pad shoved between two ceiling panels. It was there to soak up condensation that would otherwise drip on me. Right then and there I knew I had to make the list, and with the help of my crew, flight attendants who never cease to amaze me, we came up with 20 unique ways to use a maxi pad in flight.

The day after the list was created a passenger on our flight back to New York stepped into the galley, held out a white sleeve, and in a British accent asked, “Do you have anything I can use to get this off of me?” Red lint covered her white cotton blouse. “It’s from the blanket!”

“I’m sorry,” said one of my coworkers. “There’s nothing we can really do…except give you a few wet paper towels to wipe it off.”

“But I’ve got somewhere important to be when I get off this flight and I can’t go looking like this!” she exclaimed, shaking both arms at us.

If we hadn’t made the list the day before, I would have never thought of using a maxi-pad as a lint brush, which means I would have never said, “Well…there is something we can use…” I nodded my head in the direction of the lavatory, smiling mischievously.

Heather, one of my colleagues, explained to the passenger that a strip of tape on the back of a maxi pad could be used to remove the lint- that is if she didn’t mind patting herself down with it. The passenger just nodded and then disappeared into the lav.

Two minutes later the passenger spun around in the galley and sang, “It worked! Thank you so very much.”


  1. Headrest
  2. Oven mitts
  3. Light shade
  4. Condensation absorbent.
  5. Towel
  6. Mop
  7. Bag handle
  8. Hair remover
  9. Band aid
  10. Tape
  11. Arm rest
  12. Eye mask
  13. Lint brush
  14. Curtain holder
  15. Shoe insole
  16. Cool compress
  17. Beer koozie
  18. Coffee filter
  19. Post-it note
  20. YOU TELL ME!
  • That’s right, this is your chance to channel your inner flight attendant and come up with an interesting way to use a maxi-pad. Just leave a comment below and I’ll choose the best idea. May the best wanna-be flight attendant win!

    And just when you think you’re done with a post, you go to to search for photos to go along with your bizarre post and find this…
    (just had to share!)

    Photos courtesy of (smiling girl) pinkcandylemon, (hair tie back) Hyesterical Bertha, (blister cover) Elizabeth Mcquern