Saturday, May 4, 2013


Monday I flew out of OKC on Southwest. I was on row 7 in seat A and the all the seats were occupied. As usual I go to sleep immediately.

About 20 minutes into the flight I wake realizing the women next to me is very sick and she is throwing up. She is in full distress and can't do anything about it. And she is really sick. 

Between breathes she keeps saying "I'm so sorry" to me and the person in seat C. She keeps saying this between throwing up spells. Seat C happens to be a nurse who tries to help the women. She gets napkins and eventually a plastic bag from the flight attendant. The women is still sick. There is nowhere to go either as she is in seat B on row 7 on a full plane.

Finally her stomach calms down and she shifts to cleaning up. She is still saying how sorry she is.

I realized something.

Her embarrassment was more painful to her than being sick.

The nurse and I told her to not worry about it. The nurse said "she's seen worse". I told her "life happens" which was all the brilliance I could muster at the moment. But I did go on to tell her not to worry about it.

However since I'm always prepared I opened my backpack and gave her numerous Wet Wipes (note to self replace them) and several of those Shout wipes for clothing stains. She was able to clean up before she got up to go to the toilets and I think that meant a lot to her. She got some of her dignity back.

All ended fine. I'm sure that as soon as she stepped off the plane and out of the jetway that she ran far away as quickly as possible. I would have...  

The family and I flew across the Atlantic a few years ago. We were on the back rows of a packed coach flight. Several rows up a young couple had a baby that cried most of the night. When we
were de-boarding I noticed that the poor couple looked exhausted. They had tried all night to calm the baby and failed and they too were embarrassed.

You know, the women on my flight didn't get on the plane a decide to throw up. The parents didn't pinch the baby so she'd cry for hours.

Food for thought.

Safe travels to you and pack some Wet Wipes.


  1. I would be impressed with any man who offered a woman Wet Wipes! Way to go!

  2. I am a business traveler prepper. Well prepared.

  3. Good post Mark. A good lesson for all of us to come out of "self" and think of the feelings of others.