I have been asked several times to write about this incident and today feels like a good day to do so (read: I finally have time!).
Our company flies to and from LA via Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. On this occasion we were flying to Brisbane and then onto Sydney as a passenger via Virgin Blue. There was about 10 of us taking the trip. As I was seated in ‘rows 13 and beyond’, my tired little self had to take the stairs to the tarmac and up the rear of the aircraft. On my journey my ankle did the dreaded wobble and I fell onto my hands and knees. Embarrassed, I did what anyone would do, laugh it off, get up, keep going,and don’t look back!
Once seated I looked down to find blood pouring out my knee, through my pantyhose and down my leg. Not a good look! I asked the cabin crew for some tissues and mopped myself up. It stung a little but I couldn’t care less. I was so tired, all I could think about was having a sleep and getting home. While my fellow crew laughed at me, I nodded off…
I woke to a light spray of a liquid on my face, thinking the drink cart had reached me and that someone had just opened a can of soft drink, I opened my eyes. Surprisingly no drink cart. I turned around to see if the drink cart was behind me, and what I saw felt like it happened in slow motion. The 10 of us were seated on aisle seats over the last 5 or 6 rows. When I looked at the crew and passengers all I saw was looks of shock and disgust, and in the middle of it all was a man attempting to get into the lavatory in a hurry. Eventually putting the pieces together I realised that this man had decided that his sick bag in the pocket in the seat in front of him would not suffice and that he would attempt to make it to the rear lav. He put his hand to his mouth while he projectile vomited down the cabin, managing to reach the window, floor, about 15 guests and believe it or not; the roof!!!
In our hypoxic state, we somehow found this funny, and lucky for us, we were not on the 8am departure with a bunch of guests on their way to work, so, amazingly the other guests managed to see the lighter side too.
Out of instinct we got up and grabbed some gloves and ISO wipes and started cleaning the aircraft and each other. It was on our clothes, on our seats, on our faces and as we scrambled around playing spot the vomit we heard, “Oh excuse me, you’ve ah, you’ve got a chunk in your hair!”. The poor lady had chunks of vomit in her hair, and one guy had to replace his shirt as his whole top was covered in spew! It was almost funny, but absolutely not at the same time. Still we found ourselves laughing in dis-belief.
Once we were all clean (as much as we could be, without stripping off and disinfecting ourselves), we sat down and got ready for landing. The next thing I see is ‘Mr Projectile down the aisle’ being escorted to a premium seat. I was in complete shock that 1) in response to him vomiting all over the passengers he got upgraded and that 2) he did not even apologise. I realise that when your sick, you do some strange things and it’s the perfect out for any behaviour, but a simple “I’m so sorry” goes along way. We would all understand!