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Barf Bag Stories

Anyone wanna share your own "Barf bag story"? Just mail me!


Anyone wanna share your own "Barf bag story"? Just mail me!

It was about 1968. I was third man in the cockpit on an Eastern Airlines Lockheed 1011 (2nd officer). David was pilot and Charles was 1st officer(copilot). Diana was a new (just graduated) stewardess (cabin attendant). It was an early morning flight from St. Louis to some East Coast city I can't recall, probably New York or Boston.

Once we were in the air, David picked up the public announcing handset and announced "Cabin attendant to the cockpit, please."  Diana showed up and David said "The 1st officer is not feeling well, would you please bring us a sick bag."  She left, and returned with a bag. David said thank you, and she returned to the passenger cabin.

David took the bag and poured into it the contents of a can of Campbell's concentrated vegetable soup, which he had opened with the can opener on his pocket knife. A few minutes later, he again called for the cabin attendant. Diana arrived, and he gave her the full bag and said "Please dispose of this." She took the bag and began to leave. She was a step or two out of the cockpit when David said "Wait a minute, bring that back."

She brought the bag back, and David took it, opened it and looked inside. Then he said " Boy, this looks pretty good" and dipped his hand into the bag, pulled out some of the contents and ate it. Diana then barfed big time, but since she had not brought a bag for herself, she barfed all over David and Charles.

There is a moral here, but I don't know what it is.


From Kevin's blog: http://fastfictions.blogspot.com/

What would Jesus do (if he were the Buddha on a barf bag)?

The interior of the plane shakes and stomachs tense as flight 142 makes its final descent but Martin Barnstone continues to talk his fellow passenger's ear off.

"The largest collection of airplane sickness bags is... in the thousands. Can you believe that ? Some guy's got all these barf bags in his home. That must trigger some kind of gag reflex. I mean seeing all those barf bags must make you want to throw up yourself. Imagine trying to have dinner at Mr Barf Bag's place. I wouldn't be able to digest my food properly. I don't think anyone would including Mr Barf Bag himself. He must have digestive problems. So in the end he does need those barf bags but he can't throw up in them because they make up a treasured collection. What a guy !! " Martin Barnstone stares at his new friend hoping that he'll understand the import of what's just come out of his mouth.

The plane continues to shake up bellies, bladders and breasts.

On the screen for all to see is the pilot's perspective. A camera at the nose of the plane shows that land is fast approaching. There is nothing to fear but fellow passengers and lost luggage. A bald-eagle suddenly explodes across the camera and the monitor switches to a green map of the plane's flight.

Martin Barnstone's new friend passes out from an overload of aerial death and talk of barf bags. Martin Barnstone screams.

Now sitting across from all this, what would you do ? What would Jesus do ? What would the Buddha do ? What would the new Pope do ? What would Oprah do ? What would a venture capitalist do ? What would a terrorist do ? What would a duck do ? What would a punch-line do ?

That's correct: they would all breathe through their nose.

Kevin Spenst

A few years ago, I was flying from Bellingham WA to Dallas TX. The first leg of my trip was a little puddle jumper Dash 8 from Bellingham to Seattle, a quick 40 minutes with a head wind. On a typical Pacific Northwest stormy, windy, rainy November morning my traveling companion and I boarded a full plane, took our seats in the back row, and were a bit surprised when the pilot stepped out of the cockpit to address the cabin. "Buckle down and hold on," she said, "or deplane now." We took off and spent the next half hour being bounced and bucked in every possible direction. I had one hand braced on the ceiling, the other hand braced on the sidewall, and was wondering if it could possibly get any worse, when the cabin became filled with the sounds and smells of every passenger retching into their barf bags. I fought as hard as I could to keep my breakfast down, and was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel when we mercifully began our descent into Seattle. I was mentally congratulating myself for remaining composed when my traveling companion (who had a stomach of steel) announced that on landing in Seattle, she was going to grab herself a big steaming bowl of CLAM CHOWDER for a snack. The thought of clam chowder, paired with the sounds and smells of twenty-some sick cabin-mates, plus the still bucking Dash 8, all did me in. I started throwing up and couldn't stop. I spent the next legs of my trip (Seattle to Denver and Denver to Dallas) retching non-stop. When I filled every barf bag in the vicinity on the 747 from Denver to Dallas (having been seated in the center seat of the center aisle, could it be any worse???), passengers from the rows in front of and behind me began passing them in from all directions. I don't remember those barf bags in detail...only that I was grateful they were there when I needed them...and oh, how I needed them!

Amber Hackney

Several years ago, I was on a flight to Hawaii. Since this is not a short flight, boredom quickly set in and I began rummaging around in the seat pocket. This turned up the barf bag. At one time or another, someone had apparently been feeling sick and needed to hold it in. Their solution? Write lines! "I will not barf" was written about 20 times on it. As the barf bag was empty, this seemed to suggest that they had succeeded. I now carry on their tradition with a paragraph giving proper instructions for the use of barf bags that include every synonym available.

On a slightly different note, I once saw a "RARE 60's BRITISH AIRWAYS BARFBAG" on eBay. What was extraordinary was that
1) People were bidding on it
2) There was a reserve
3) The current price (reserve not yet met) was $40!

As if this were not enough, the seller suggested (I am not making any of this up) that it would "Make a great Christmas gift!"

Aaron Dodson

One time when me and my dad were flying to California I was looking for my seat and when I saw who I was sitting next to it was WEE~MAN (jackass the movie). Well we got to talking and were watching a movie and we were almost there so I asked for his autograph. Then I realized I had no paper so he picked up a barf bag and signed it saying keep on skating and being a jackass. I thought it was pretty sweat.


Probably not an unusual story from flight attendants, but back in the 1960's when I was flying for New Zealand's national airline crewing in DC3's, Viscounts and Friendships, one particular airport was noted for its bad crosswinds which played havoc with passengers internal combustion! There used to be a record count of 'barf bags' which were used on a flight and my best total was 28!

The worst, absolute worst, experience was retrieving a passengers false teeth from a well used bag. There was a technique for doing this - first locate the teeth by feeling the outside of the bag and then sort of squeezing it up through the top opening and into the hand basin!!!!!

From G Petersen, New Zealand

My 8th grade p.e. coach gave me an autographed barf bag. He told me this story, he was on a flight from California and he was getting ready to get off the plane when he saw Jonathan Davis (from Korn) and he knew how much I liked Korn and decided to get his autograph for me. But he didn't have any paper so he got him to sign the barf bag. What sucks though is my P.e. teacher always thought my name is Krysten.. It says Peace Krysten than a happy face and then Korn.

From Christine, Phoenix, Az

Actually, this story is about how the lack of a barf bag when one was desperately needed lead me to find your site...

I was doing an internet seach for "air sickness bags" because I wanted to buy some to put in my car.  Never would have thought of doing so, that is, until I got sick last week while driving and was unable to stop or I would have been rear ended. Just think, if they made them for cars the your collection would grow by leaps and bounds!

~A (safe and sane) driver in Los Angeles who is looking to buy some bags!

Excellent site - I got a little story that might amuse your punters:

During my years at law school back in the mid 80's here in Copenhagen, I had all sorts of odd jobs. One of the most lucrative ones was acting as a guinea pig at the August Krogh Institute participating in all sorts of physical experiments - the more discomfort, the higher the pay...

Anyway - NASA was cooperating with the European Space Agency on different research projects, and "Dansk Rumforskningslaboratorium" was a subdivision of ESA. And they conducted several experiments I participated in - usually it was just lying on a bed or sitting submerged in a water tank (simulated weightlessness) and peeing once every hour in a plastic bottle to determine... something about certain hormone levels (remember, I was a law student!).

Since I was such a trusted and hard working lab rat, they offered me a deluxe experiment: REAL weightlessness in a large Air force Lockheed jet, along with three other guys and a couple of scientists. Of course I volunteered - being able to brag about having been really weightless seemed an interesting conversation topic and would surely improve my chances with the law school babes who thought I was just a book worm...

The day arrived - from the early morning on they hooked me up to different machinery to monitor pulse, brain activity and to draw blood during the flight.

The airplane was flying in a serial parabolic pattern: Going up, you were exposed to several G's. And during the descent, you were absolutely weighless for abt. 30-45 seconds.

Of course the air force top guns flying the plane had a lot of experience in doing similar maneuvers, and for them it was pretty much just another day at the office. But for us lab rats and scientists, it was a different story. When your body very suddenly gets hit by several G's and just as suddenly is weightless, it has a predictable effect on your well being, and the torque applied REALLY affects your stomach content. So all of us just threw up all over the place - and even though they had barf bags on board (unfortunately I forgot to secure any for your fine collection!), we didn't always hit the target.

And from personal experience I must say that weightless barf is every bit as disgusting as the earthbound stuff. But you get the added excitement of watching the stomach content of one of your fellow semi-astronauts floating around in the cabin - and abruptly landing all over the place when gravity suddenly kicked in. I remember getting a lot of it in my lap, and clearly not recognizing the stuff as anything I digested this morning. Took the nausea level up one notch, as we headed into yet another parabolic curve...

I also remember those grinning pilots afterwards - and those smug glances they exchanged as they watched us tuck in at the morning buffet...

So - my advice to future space tourists is: Skip breakfast, buckle up, don't look into the Sun - and steal those rocket barf bags, 'cause one day they'll be collectors items!

Many regards,

Morten Iversen

Copenhagen, Denmark

I don't have a bag to offer you, just a true story.

In 1970, my husband was doing geological research in the Florida Keys. We had to do some aerial photography, so he contracted with a small airline in Marathon, FL, to take us up in a six-seater. The pilot, a very fat man, had not bathed in recent weeks, and he had been smoking cigars. The cabin got to about 120 degrees, and we were banking for better shots. And I was running an old, clunky video camera

All I had eaten for breakfast were two slices of toast and two small sausages, washed down with coffee.

Up it came. I used the airsick bag, which was nothing more than a clear plastic baggie tucked in a pocket on the rear of the front seat. I had no choice but to hold it until we landed, which was still a couple of islands away. Needless to say, our moving pictures ended about that time.

Once on the ground, my only option was to carry the bag into the terminal and dispose of it myself. And yes, there were people sitting in the waiting room.

Still, the experience didn't make me want to collect more presentable bags. Indeed, it made me vow never to use one again, thereby eliminating tiny planes from my travel itineraries.

But your website is a riot. And I've sent it to one of my editors, and a couple of friends.


Laura H. McBride