Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner's toilet seat – note the special illustration that forbids throwing in paper.

Six of the eight toilet cubicles on an EL AL plane that flew earlier this week from New York to Tel Aviv were shut down due to a blockage in the plane’s sewer system, Ynet reported Wednesday. The sharp cut in the number of available restrooms caused long queues of frustrated passengers who had to wait a long time to do their business. If you’ve ever flown on that line in either direction, you know.

El Al Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner / Courtesy El Al Israel Airlines

The unpleasant malfunction occurred on the new, prestigious Boeing 787 Dreamliner with about 200 passengers and crew on board. Again, if you’ve ever flown that route, you know the flight from New York to Tel Aviv takes almost 11 hours. “It was an unpleasant event,” said one passenger.


The blockage was apparently caused after one passenger threw paper into one of the toilets (right below the sign that asks not to throw paper into the toilet, you’ve been there).

Such a malfunction can’t be repaired in the air, only after landing. Protocol says that only if all the restrooms are out the captain is authorized to land the plane at some airport on the way and fix the problem. In the past, there have been cases where planes have made unscheduled landings due to sanitation or water system problems. This time, the captain stuck it out all the way to Ben Gurion International.

No idea if upon landing the passengers clapped and sang Hevenu Shalom Aleichem. It may have been too much to ask for under the circumstances.

El Al responded: “Unfortunately, during the flight, there was an operational malfunction in the aircraft’s facilities, which could not be repaired during the flight and shut down a significant number of toilets. When the plane landed at Ben Gurion Airport, the cause of the malfunction was discovered and it was repaired. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the incident.”

You bet.


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