In Rowan Atkinson’s ‘Devil Sketch’, he plays Satan welcoming new arrivals to Hell with rather disturbing politeness and good humour: “You can call me Toby, if you like – we try and keep things informal here, as well as infernal. That’s just a little joke.”
We can only hope the crew on the United Airlines flight UA37 from Edinburgh to Newark, just west of New York city, were equally as charming when they informed passengers about to embark on the seven-and-a-half-hour journey they might not be able to use the toilets.
Apparently, it was so cold at Edinburgh Airport that trucks meant to service the plane were frozen and unable to empty the unwanted cargo from a previous flight, leaving the toilets half full. “We are asking customers if they need the bathroom, to use the bathroom now before we actually board,” an announcement told passengers. It added that if people did have to go during the flight, then the plane might have to be diverted.
Understandably, the departure time was delayed. We very much hope that this was to enable the trucks to be thawed out so that normal inflight facilities could be resumed, rather than waiting for one passenger with an upset stomach to declare themselves up for the challenge.
Seven-and-a-half hours without relief sounds too hellish to contemplate.