Oh crap! Imagine being on a 15-hour non-stop flight with our being able to ‘go’ when you need to! Yesterday there was desperate tweet from an Air India flier on a 15-hour flight from Chicago to New Delhi. The tweet said all loos were blocked and the flight was just taking off from Toronto! Unless they nicked some diapers from the babies on the flight, I wonder how the passengers managed!
Toilet woes for Air India:
Air India has the most problems with toilets, it seems. A
nd it definitely questions Indian travelers and their toilet etiquette: something that they serious lack training in. On some Air India flights that I have travelled, the crew seem to know that this issue of clogging will come up and they keep a few toilets locked for later use, when the first lot gets clogged!
Use trash can not toilet:
According to a news report, Air India has had as many as 14 delays due to clogged toilets on its long haul flights between June and August last year! The same n
ews report says that the toilets are found clogged with the darkest things: from pajamas given to passengers in first class to water bottle, diapers, tooth brush and toothpaste sets given as freebies etc! The newer aircraft have a better toilet flushing system with a vacuum flush that pulls everything away with a whoosh! but even that can’t combat poor civic sense!
Trains, even worse!
Toilets on Indian Railways also have cleaning issues. I for one never use the Western style toilets on trains! Even the Indian-style toilets have their issues, but still one quickly use it, when on a journey. Nowadays they have housekeeping staff on the train and I ask for one to clean the toilet before I use it, call me picky if you will, but one can’t use them without a good dousing of ‘phenyl’. There was an announcement of replacing coaches with bio-toilets, wonder when that will come into play!
Lack of civic sense
A lot of these problems arise as Indians in general seem to lack civic sense. Take any public toilet: most unmanned ones are unusable! Even at tony clubs, I have seen women throw toilet paper on the floor, use swimming towels to wipe the floor and clean their shoes and worse. At the TV news channel I used to work, the loos had the same problems: toilet paper all over the floor, hair in wash basin, women sitting with their footwear Indian-style on toilet seats and unflushed toilets! This, in spite of having a house-keeping service to clean the toilets. Along with the help of my HR manager, we put notices in all toilets on how they should be used, but it didn’t help. I must have been the most frequent caller to house-keeping department to get the toilets cleaned!
And now apparently, South Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided that restaurants can let non-customers use their loos on paying INR 5! Easy way out for MCD but tough job for restaurants to keep their toilets clean! At least, we will have an option of finding a clean loo, in South Delhi!