This Is Why You Aren’t Allowed to Use an In-Flight Bathroom Until Takeoff

You better listen to your flight attendant.

If your plane is getting ready to take off when that water you downed earlier finally catches up with you, don’t even think about heading to the bathroom. Even if the plane is barely filled, the airline has a very good reason to keep you in your seat.

About 13 percent of fatal plane accidents and onboard deaths happen during takeoff and the initial climb, according to Boeing data from 2007 through 2016. To prevent injury, federal regulations require airlines to light up seatbelt signs before the plane starts to move. And lest you think that’s just the airline’s problem, another law requires passengers to sit down with their seatbelt fastened when the “Fasten Seat Belt” light is on. The plane crew wants you to be safe, and starting to taxi while passengers are out of their seats—including on the toilet, which obviously doesn’t have a seatbelt—could pose a safety threat. In the interest of everyone on the flight’s well-being, here are 18 more things you should never do on a plane.

The law doesn’t require pilots to stop a plane if a passenger stands up during taxiing, but it does encourage it. Federal Aviation Administration rules cite one pilot whose airline pilot certificate was suspended for a week after he taxied to the runway while passengers were in the aisle. There are times when it would be safer to keep moving than to stop taxiing, the FAA clarifies, but it highlights that “historically most airlines ensured passengers were seated during movement on the surface.” If you insist on going, there’s a good chance the plane will stop moving, putting the whole flight off schedule if it loses its place in line. That’s not something your flight crew will appreciate. Don’t miss these other 28 things your pilot wishes you knew.

Next time, try to leave time for a bathroom break before getting on a plane. Better yet, plan your toilet stop around the best time to use the bathroom on a plane.

[Source: Southern Living]

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.