Flying does produce gas.
The study concluded that anecdotal evidence that flying increases flatulence is not hot air, finding that changes in air pressure at altitude result in the gut producing more gas.
…The result was an in-depth review of scientific literature on flatulence, looking at issues such as whether women’s farts smell worse than men’s (yes), what causes the odour (sulphur) and how often the average person passes wind every day (10).
The authors note that pilots in particular shouldn’t distract themselves by trying to hold it in — though they run the risk of distracting their colleagues in the cockpit which isn’t ideal, either.
Interestingly, the effects of flatulence are worse in first class on airlines that still use leather seats than they are in economy.
They did, however, note that the textile covers used on seats in economy class absorbed up to 50 percent of odours because they are gas permeable, unlike the leather seats in first class.
They suggested airlines could improve the odour-eating properties of the seats and issue special blankets and trousers to passengers to minimise mid-air flatulence.
So this thread is your excuse, dear readers, to channel your inner 13 year old boy. Have you noticed this effect? What’s the appropriate etiquette when you’re affected? How should seatmates respond?
(HT: sobore on Milepoint)