Breaking wind at 12,000 meters

Otaru, Hokkaido

Regarding the Feb. 19 AFP article out of Wellington titled “Passengers get green light to fart on flights” (which cites a New Zealand Medical Journal report of a medical study’s conclusion that changes in air pressure during flight result in the gut producing more gas): I’m never going to fly in economy class again after learning that the cheap seats are “gas permeable”! Leather seat please — unless I carry a caged canary aboard with me.

This report was most alarming. Who would have thought that a woman’s flatulence is more foul than that of most men? Could a highly trained professional pilot actually lose control of his plane if he restrains himself from farting? Is flatulence deadly?

Shouldn’t airlines offer both oxygen masks and gas masks on all flights for the comfort and safety of passengers and crew? Active charcoal filters should be installed in every nook and cranny of the economy-class cabin to absorb some of those sulfuric odors.

Just think, if your average commercial airliner carries up to 300 passengers and they all “just let it go” — as the medical study advises — 10 times during a flight, well, do the math!

Flight attendants should receive bonus salary for working under such conditions. Passengers prone to break wind should be required to pay extra for their ticket, like overweight passengers. Maybe there should be a “flatulence only” seating section.

This report gives new meaning to Bette Midler’s old song: “I could fly higher than an eagle, ’cause you are the wind beneath my wings. … thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.”

robert mckinney
otaru, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.