How Many Plumbers Does it Take to Fix an Airplane Toilet? 

Apparently, more than 80.

Flickr / jenniferforjoy

Is there anything worse than being trapped mid-air on a flight with a broken toilet? How about being on a flight with a broken toilet and dozens of plumbers, none of whom can fix said toilet?

This cruel joke actually played out in real life this past weekend, when a flight from Oslo bound for Munich had to turn back due to a problem with the toilets, according to Norwegian communications advisor Fatima Elkadi.

There happened to be over 80 plumbers on board this particular flight, heading to a trade event, and the announcement of toilet problems reported elicited a good amount of laughter from passengers.

A map of the flight courtesy of

Even if they had their wrenches and (plumbing) snakes on the plane, the plumbers would have been unable to do their job from up in the air. “We’d have gladly fixed the toilets, but it must unfortunately be done from the outside,” Frank Olsen, the chief executive of the plumbing company Rorkjop told Norwegian news site Daglabet.

“And we didn’t want to take a chance on sending out a plumber at 10,000 meters altitude.” Fair enough.

The Norwegian Flight DY1156 took off shortly after 9:30 in the morning from Oslo, but touched back down 30 minutes later after having to circle overhead to lighten its fuel load.

Considering the other fecal-related flying stories we’re used to hearing, like a flight being diverted after a passenger spread his poop all over the cabin in January, this is a much more pleasant travel story and a reminder to use the bathroom before you board.

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