All Zippers Be Returned to the Upright Position, Please

How are flight attendants supposed to deal with fornicating passengers?

Brian Palmer

A couple who spent a little too long "making out" in the bathroom of a Frontier Airlines plane set off a security alert on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. When passengers noticed they had been in the bathroom for a suspiciously long time, crew members alerted the captain, and authorities dispatched a pair of fighter jets to accompany the flight into Detroit. On ordinary days, when calling in a military escort would be over the top, what are flight attendants supposed to do when they happen upon an attempt to join the mile-high club?

Knock, inquire politely, and barge in if necessary. Airlines don’t directly address this issue during flight attendant training, but, these days, few flight attendants tolerate sex onboard. They forbid able-bodied adults from entering the lavatory together. If passengers waiting in line suggest that something untoward may be happening in a bathroom, the crew member knocks and asks if everything is OK. If they get no response, flight attendants have the means to unlock and open lavatory doors. (Sunday’s mix-up was unusual, because flight attendants usually enter a lavatory and have a look around before notifying the captain of a security threat.) Some aroused passengers don’t even bother with the lavatory, which forces flight attendants to tap them on the shoulder and request that they stop having sex in their seats.

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Couple sneaking into an airplane's lavatory. Click image to expand.Is it easy to get away with sex in an airplane lavatory? What if you get caught?

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