My worst flight-mare

Long flights aren’t the most exciting thing in the world. Usually one will board their plane, sleep, eat, watch movies and arrive at their destination with no major issues; myself included. This is a story about one time that didn’t go so smoothly. It started off bright and cheery and quickly turned into my worst nightmare.

My parents, brother, sister and I woke up before the sun to embark on a two week adventure through Italy and a couple of other cities in Europe. You can only imagine the excitement that filled the room the morning we departed from Los Angeles International Airport–Everyone was frantically rushing to make sure they’d packed everything they needed whilst I sat in front of a mirror applying a subtle layer of makeup (my bags were ready to go). As usual, we were running late and my father was freaking out. (Who is ever on time, anyway?)

We boarded our shuttle to the airport and before I knew it, we were through check in and security with time to spare. I grabbed a coffee and a bagel and watched the people walking around the terminal. I love people-watching, especially at the airport. Where in the world are they going? It could literally be anywhere. You can tell so many things about a person in an airport and at the same time know absolutely nothing about them.

Finally, the time came for us to get on the plane. We boarded, put our bags away, and started up our individual TV screens. Fast forward to two movies later. We arrived at our layover in New York.

Food was the only thing on the minds of my brother, sister, and myself. We wandered around the unfamiliar terminal until we found a sandwich joint that served up some delicious Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and fries. They were super dreamy. I should have eaten more because an hour into our next flight, I was already hungry again. I anxiously awaited the meal that would be served in some hours’ time. And we’d be eating some scrumptious Italian food in less than ten hours…

We started to smell something rancid.


My brother glanced down the walkway to investigate. Not to our surprise, it was a pile of poop. A woman several rows up from us was trying to clean the floor with some napkins. Her dog was so nervous he couldn’t contain himself. Gnarly. Dogs are allowed on flights? I had no idea.

That definitely ruined my appetite for a few minutes.

Time is always at a standstill on overseas flights. One can only watch so many movies and TV shows before needing mental stimulation and physical activity. Why is WiFi not offered during overseas flights without having to pay an arm and a leg? I wish it was included…

“Chicken or pasta?” The flight attendant had finally reached the row where me and my empty stomach anxiously awaited that question (of course we were in the very back of the plane). I chose the chicken and veggies, a basic and familiar meal. Pasta sounded a little riskier as some recipes do call for eggs.

Fun fact–Did you know that some airlines don’t offer a list of ingredients for the food they serve?

I immediately dove into what seemed like a harmless tray of chicken, carrots, and peas. It was nothing to rave about (airplane food is mediocre at best), but my barren stomach wins the battle over my taste buds every time anyways.

About ten minutes later, my stomach started to feel funny and my mouth began to water uncontrollably. Time began to pass increasingly quick. To make matters worse, I was stuck in the window seat with both my brother and sister comfortably buckled in between myself and the aisle to the restroom. Allergic reactions to egg are far from pleasant and typically come and go quickly, and thankfully do not often result in the severe reaction of anaphylactic shock.

Instead, they sneak up on you when you least expect it and in some circumstances with no notice at all…

“You need to move. NOW.” I snapped at my brother and sister. They began asking way too many questions and I could feel myself growing closer to vomiting by the second. I searched for the barf bag in my seat. It was M.I.A.

My brother, posted comfortably in his aisle seat, finally unbuckled himself and stood up, but it was already too late. I reached for the water cup I’d had with dinner and within seconds it was full of my own vomit.

But that wasn’t everything. I started to panic. Another round was coming. The cup was nearly full. And my sister was still sitting right next to me with seemingly little sense of urgency to move.

She frantically scrambled to find the barf bag in the back of her seat. Hers was also gone!

I vomited a second time– but it didn’t fit in the cup. I watched it fill up completely and begin to overflow. It was everywhere. The floor. The seat. My jeans. My scarf. All over my sister’s arm and pants. (Sorry, sister!)

Poor thing… In the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was awful. I sat there for what felt like an eternity, covered in my own vomit, still holding the cup full of even more of it. Five minutes passed before I was able to get the attention of a flight attendant. Absolutely horrific experience.

My sister scampered off to the restroom to attempt to clean herself off. The entire plane was asking questions… “What’s going on?” “Is she sick?” “Is it contagious?” A small part of me was tempted to start a rumor about beginning a zombie apocalypse.

Finally, my mother brought me some towels from the restroom and the flight attendant brought over a can of Ginger Ale in attempt to rid the spots of the terrible smell. I spent the next half hour crawling around the floor making sure there was absolutely no remains of this event.

The flight attendants made it a point to let me know that this wasn’t the first time they’d seen an allergic reaction from the food that they served. Airplane food really needs to include ingredients with their meals.

What was your worst flight-mare?

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