Any time you put 300 people in a metal tube, the strain on the in-flight toilet system is going to be immense – but Hong Kong based airline Cathay Pacific is having more than just a bit of trouble.
The airline is actually dealing with a huge mystery. Their toilets are so unreliable that a Hong Kong bound flight had to make an unscheduled landing in Mumbai, India when all ten of the bathrooms became clogged and unusable.
The 278 passengers on the “crappy” flight were delayed for 18 hours. But to be honest, I’d rather spend 18 hours in Mumbai than 18 minutes on a plane with no bathrooms.
In other incidents, two other Hong Kong bound flights had to refuse boarding to a substantial amount of passengers when all the bathrooms on one side of the plane stopped working.
All these incidents are on the Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, and Cathay Pacific is said to be working overtime to figure out what is causing the problem. A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman suggested that passengers may be to blame.
‘You would be amazed at what we find in the pipes when we clean the system – not just face towels but medicine bottles, socks and even children’s stuffed toys,’
Until the real reason is uncovered, engineers are carrying out deep cleaning treatment and replacing pipes.
Remember those signs in the airplane bathroom that politely request that passengers refrain from throwing anything into the bowl (other than the usual stuff)?
Well, apparently passengers on Biman Bangladesh airlines saw it, but either ignored it, or decided to see what would happen if you stuff it full of bottles, cups, paper and sanitary napkins. And they didn’t do this to just one of the toilets, but all five of them.
The major clog in this airplane plumbing resulted in a 10 hour delay in taking off from Dhaka. The plane was London bound, and the plumbing job only took 2 hours, but by then they would have arrived at London past its nighttime curfew.
Wing Commander Asaduzzaman, who is in charge of engineering at the airline, blamed retuning Bangladeshis for clogging his toilets.
This crappy problem (pardon the pun) is just another blow for the airline, since the United Nations recently advised their own staff to avoid flying them because of safety concerns.