US Airways Causes Urinary Tract Infections

My recent trip to New York City has taught me many things, most importantly, never count on the airline industry. Don’t count on the plane arriving on time, don’t expect there to be peanuts, surely don’t look forward to an attractive stewardess, and lastly, don’t count on having a working restroom.

My flight was supposed to leave Laguardia Airport at 3:00pm, so like a good traveler I arrived at the airport as suggested, 1 hour in advance. At 3:00 an announcement was made that my plane was in it’s landing phase and that we would begin loading shortly. The robotic gate attendant suggested that another announcement would be made when the plane was on the ground.

At 3:30 my plane had not touched down on the tarmac and I was accompanied by about 20 other passengers when I uttered ‘shit’ under my breath. What makes matters worse is that at this point, I needed to use the restroom. Plagued by the fear that I would miss my flight, I held, with the intentions to use the bathrooms on the plane. The robot attendant continued to make announcements every 15-20 mins declaring that our plane was in the process of landing. Mind you, never was a delay time given.

No set delay time and apparently an endless landing pattern made my bladder hurt. Due to my noobness at flying, I still not dare leave the gate area for fear of missing my flight. 2 1/2 hours after scheduled boarding time, my plane had finally arrived!

6:30pm, I’m on my way back to Louisville KY, with visions of stainless pee catchers dancing in my head. But what did I hear, much to my surprise, the toilet was out of order and I’d have to hold for another 2 hours. Now, I do not have a UTI yet, but if I do, I’m sending the bill to US Airways.

P.S. For the record, I made it to the toilet in Louisville without any spillage. However, it was a photo finish making for an exciting dash through the gates.

2 thoughts on “US Airways Causes Urinary Tract Infections”

  1. I’m not sure what “noobness” is. Maybe you mean’t “newness,” i.e. ‘new to flying.’

    First, every carrier now recommends arriving in the terminal at least 90 nimutes prior to your departure time, not 60. Longer is better. And that is 90 minutes at the terminal. Not at the car rental return, parking the car, etc. If you need to do that add time to your trip to the airport. Those check-in and security lines can be long. Check-in and get your boarding passes on line if at all possible. Most airlines now offer on-line check-in. Then you can go to a faster moving line where all you are doing is checking your bags.

    If your plane isn’t at the gate, you should have at least 10 to 15 minutes before the plane could arrive, park, deplane and reboard. Even Southwest can’t do it that fast anymore. So go use the facilities!

    La Guardia (LGA) is one of the nation’s worst for air traffic and/or weather delays. By my own experience (I am a US Airways Captain) a 2 1/2 hour delay is on the shorter side of what is possible at LGA. I personally bid my own schedule to avoid LGA and EWR at almost any cost.

    And finally, I didn’t look, but I suspect you weren’t really on US Airways, but one of our “Express” carriers to Louisville. These are small airlines that we contract with to fly to the smaller cities. Those “Regional Jets” generally only have one restroom. If it is out of service…. Not a pleasant thought. US Airways only tells them when to fly where. We really control nothing else of their operation. They are seperate airlines with US Airways paint.

    When me and my family travel I ALWAYS INSIST that every one use the airport restroom a few minutes before departure for a PDP (Pre-Departure Pee). You never know how long the taxi out might be. And federal law prohibits passengers form being up and moving about the cabin on the ground once the boarding door is closed. On rare occasions where the ground delay is lenghty, we will park and allow people to use the restroom. But this is only with lengthy delays where we shut down the engines.
    You also don’t know if it is going to be bumpy enough once airborne that the Captain may not be able to turn off the fasten seat belts sign for quite some time. I know on the days where it is just too bumpy and the sign stays on, I swear I can hear gurgling bladders through the flight deck door. But we just can’t risk having you bouncing around the cabin like a ping pong ball. Every month of the year passengers are injured by moving about the cabin when they shouldn’t be.

    And finally, just ask the gate agent if you have time for a PDP restroom visit. Unless they have a long line of people at the podium, they will be happy (or at least should be able) to answer a short question like that.

    I hope this helps for your next trip!

  2. A very long reply and chocked full of useful information. Thank you!

    By “noobness” I did mean that I was new to flying, I can count on 3 fingers how many times I’ve been in a plane. I suppose my biggest problem was that we were not given a delay time, simply the plane was in the process of landing.

    Also, I was on a regional jet, but I don’t think that should have anything to do with a working restroom. 2 hours is 2 hours and a 1 working restroom is not that much to ask for.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

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