Regional or commuter aircraft and other planes designed for short- to medium-haul flights aren’t typically equipped with lavatories. Short-haul flights are under 3 hours while medium-haul flights are between 3 to 6 hours. Without a single toilet on the plane, this means both the pilot and passengers have to hold it in for hours.

What Are the Chances You Will Need to Use a Toilet Mid-Flight?

On average, people need to pee six or seven times a day. Of course, urinary frequency varies depending on factors such as your age, bladder size, and fluid intake. Underlying medical conditions such as urinary tract infections, enlarged prostate, and diabetes also influence how often you have to urinate.

As for pooping, the average person should relieve themselves of solid waste at least once a day. However, it’s within the normal range to poop three times a day. Again, variables such as age, diet, and health determine when and how often you poop.

People who follow the same routine each day and eat a consistent diet often poop at roughly the same time every day. It allows them to schedule their day around it and avoid sitting in traffic or standing in line when the urge to go to the bathroom arises.

However, not everyone follows a strict schedule or diet, making the timing of when they have to pee or poop unpredictable. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for pilots or their passengers to feel the urge to relieve themselves mid-flight and with hours to go before landing.

How Pilots and Passengers Relieve Themselves on Airplanes with No Bathroom

Pilots, owners, and passengers of small aircraft have had to get creative when they can no longer resist the urgency to go. We’ve heard stories of men peeing in empty bottles, Pringles cans, or anything that seals with a cap.

It’s not so easy for women to urinate in bottles as pee streams can be erratic and messy. On a flight, women have no option, but to pee in a plastic bag and pray for precision. Once done, they can tie off the flimsy bag and hope it doesn’t get punctured or spill the contents.

As for pooping, pilots and passengers have no other choice but to make do with what’s onboard. It might mean squatting on a bucket or placing an ordinary plastic bag on the floor and taking aim.

During World War II, small aircraft were fitted with “relief tubes.” These devices consisted of a funnel attached to a hose which the pilots could pee in. Because the tubing led to the outside of the aircraft, their urine traveled through the tube and out into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, relief tubes weren’t just awkward to use, but because of the high altitude, cold temperatures caused the device’s tubing to freeze and become blocked.

The Best Solution for Pilot and Passenger Lavatory Needs

Waste Bags or ‘Waste Alleviation and Gelling’ bags offer the best solution when it comes to personal lavatory systems for small aircraft. Restop Waste Bags guarantee a sanitary restroom option anytime you need one. Men, women, and even children can use them, and it is no more complicated than using a regular toilet or portable john.

All Restop products are packaged to withstand travel. The Restop RS1 is designed for liquid waste while the Restop RS2 is designed for both liquid and solid waste. The RS1’s super absorbent polymers and enzymes can absorb a full 20 ounces of urine. Thanks to its wide opening with a semi-rigid rim, it’s easy to use by both men and women.

The RS2 safely contains and neutralizes human waste thanks to a patented gas-impervious “bag within a bag” design. The same polymers and enzymes used in the RS1 are inside the RS2. These polymers change the composition of the waste, containing and encapsulating it. Meanwhile, the enzymes work to accelerate the breakdown of both pee and poop. The polymers and enzymes also eliminate odor. In addition, all RS1 and RS2 waste bags come with ample toilet paper and antimicrobial wipes.

Once you have finished peeing or pooping, simply cinch the inner bag closed and seal the outer bag shut. Because all Restop Waste Bags are puncture-resistant, you can even roll the used bags up and safely store it on the plane or in your luggage without fear of spillage. Once you land, find a regular trash bin and easily dispose of the Waste Bag.

Whether you’re a pilot on a solo flight or regularly fly with a few passengers, keeping Restop Waste Bag on board your plane offers a sanitary solution for anyone with lavatory needs. While it may be uncomfortable to relieve yourself in a small aircraft near other passengers, the last thing you want to do is put yourself or one of your passengers at risk of having an ‘accident’ mid-flight.

For a portable toilet solution, the Restop Portable Commode onboard. It comes equipped with a full-size flexible toilet seat on your plane. For your comfort, the portable Commode is the height of a standard toilet.

To learn more about Restop and the personal lavatory solutions we offer to pilots and owners of small aircraft, please visit