Listen, we’ve got to hand it to whichever enterprising United Airlines employee took it upon themselves to make the best out of what is a totally ridiculous situation. Sure, cocktail napkins aren’t quite as comfy when it comes to wiping your bum — but who wouldn’t chuckle at a MacGyvered duct tape holder filled with messages to “Fly by the tips of your fingers” when faced with a shortage of toilet paper?
We can’t imagine how a San Francisco to London flight’s crew didn’t manage to pack enough TP for all aboard, but you never know — perhaps there was a plethora of overactive digestive systems.
A bemused traveler on that flight posted the above photo on FlyerTalk (via Daily Finance), writing: “Apparently, they ran out in one lav half-way home and couldn’t bother to transfer a roll from another.”
While it’s much better to have some kind of wiping tools on hand, we’ve reached out to United Airlines to see if they can shed a little more light on how in the heck this could happen.
No one could grab a roll from a supply closet we’d assume might be on board with extras for just such an emergency? Or barring that, steal a few rolls out of another lavatory? I’m going to stuff a roll in my carryon for long-haul flights in the future, just in case. Because I’d rather not involve the tips of my fingers — or any other body part — with the scratchiness that is a cocktail napkin.
UPDATE: A United spokesman tells Consumerist that the problem reared its papery head prior to takeoff — but decided ticking off customers over a flight delay was worse than getting creative:
We did not have the correct amount of paper products onboard United flight 931 prior to takeoff from London Heathrow. Rather than delay the flight, our crew chose to operate the flight to San Francisco as planned. When the aircraft ran low on paper supplies, our onboard crew improvised and provided customers with alternative products. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and would like the opportunity to welcome them back.
UA Testing New Toilet Paper on Yesterday’s UA 931 [FlyerTalk]
Here’s Why United Was Just Named America’s Worst Airline [Daily Finance]