As a fan of cheese, baked beans, cheese-on-baked-beans on toast, beer and rugby, many people wrongly assume I'm also a fan of farting. Let me be absolutely clear: I'm not.

Along with an appreciation of good music, the ability to contain the urge to fart sets human beings apart from animals and Australians.

New research recommends letting rip inflight - for safety's sake. A team of Danish and British gastroenterologists produced a paper on flatulence on planes, saying passengers will fart more than the usual 10 times a day because of changes in the volume of intestinal gases as cabin pressure alters.

The boffins warn that holding it in can lead to stress, pain, bloating and dyspepsia.


In the cockpit, uncut cheese could be lethal. "If the pilot restrains a fart, all the drawbacks previously mentioned, including diminished concentration, may affect his abilities to control the airplane," the researchers warn. "If he lets go of the fart his co-pilot may be affected by its odour, which again reduces safety on board the flight."

This research could be a rogue farter's charter. But flying can be stressful and tiring enough without being assaulted nasally by your neighbour's aroma. As with all things on board a plane, from sharing the armrest to helping others reach their luggage, show a little respect.