If you’ve worried about this in the past or just want to know when there will be the least amount of toilet traffic, then pay attention because former flight attendant Erika Roth is in the know and has some wisdom to share.
According to Roth, it’s important to know exactly when the best time to go to the toilet on a plane is, to make sure there’s no one else waiting in a queue behind you and do your business in peace.
Roth says the best time to go is, “As soon as the seatbelt sign is off, before drink service begins."
And if you’re worried about the ventilation problem in the bathroom, and the odour that either you or your fellow passengers have created, then Roth has another tip.
“Ask an attendant for packets of coffee grounds, then hang them up in the lavatory. The grounds will soak up the odour,” she says.
The flight attendants will understand what you’re up to, but your fellow passengers will be none the wiser and they’ll appreciate the gesture, too.
If you think that a few coffee grounds will go unappreciated, try telling that to the passengers and crew who were on the flight that had to be grounded because of the ‘pungent’ smell coming from the bathroom.
“Insane! Our BA flight to Dubai returned back to Heathrow because of a smelly poo in the toilet! 15hrs until next flight… #britishairways,” passenger Abhishek Sachdev Tweeted about the incident at the time.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.