After a passenger complained publicly about fellow passengers being told that they had to sit in seats that were covered in vomit from the previous flight, Air Canada issued an apology.
Passenger Susan Benson documented her experience travelling from Las Vegas to Montreal on Facebook.
She said when she boarded the plane, she noticed “there was a bit of a foul smell but we didn’t know at first what the problem was. Apparently, on the previous flight someone had vomited in that area. Air Canada attempted a quick clean up before boarding but clearly wasn’t able to do a thorough clean.”
Instead, Ms Benson wrote, the airline “placed coffee grinds in the seat pouch and sprayed perfume to mask the smell.”
The people in front of her were “struggling to get seated.” Ms Benson continued, “When the clearly upset passengers tried to explain to the flight attendant that the seat and seatbelt were wet and there was still visible vomit residue in their area, the flight attendant was very apologetic but explained that the flight was full and there was nothing they could do.”
The passengers argued, “they couldn’t possibly be expected to sit in vomit for five hours. They argued back and forth for several minutes and then the flight attendant said she would get her supervisor.”
But the supervisor reportedly echoed the flight attendant, saying, “We are sorry, but you have to, it’s a full flight and there’s no other seats available.” So, the passengers then asked “if they could at least have blankets to sit on and wipes to clean more themselves. Reluctantly they were given blankets, wipes and more vomit bags. The best Air Canada could do,” Ms Benson wrote.
She continued, “They got themselves settled with blankets and wipes and next thing we knew the pilot came down the aisle and very calmly knelt down and told the two ladies that they had two choices: They could leave the plane on their own accord and organise flights on their own dime, or they would be escorted off the plane by security and placed on a no fly list!”
Apparently, when they asked why they were getting kicked off the plane, they were told they “were rude to the flight attendant.”
Ms Benson opined, “They were certainly not! They were upset and firm, but not rude!”
That’s when “the pilot got up and walked to the front of the plane. Next thing we know Security comes down the aisle and escorted the two ladies off the plane! For what? Refusing to sit in vomit for five hours!” She added, Air Canada expects passengers to either “sit in vomit or be escorted off the plane and placed on a no-fly list!”
Ms Benson concluded her story by saying, “I am ashamed to be a Canadian and ashamed of Air Canada.” She added, “Shame on you Air Canada! shame on you!”
Air Canada told CNN in a statement that it apologised to the passengers “as they clearly did not receive the standard of care to which they were entitled.”
“We are reviewing this serious matter internally and have followed up with the customers directly as our operating procedures were not followed correctly in this instance,” the statement continued.
“We remain in contact with them about this matter,” the airline said.
This isn’t the first bodily fluid to disrupt a flight recently.
A Delta flight was forced to turn around after one passenger on board suffered diarrhea “all the way through the plane” because the crew considered it a “biohazard.”
Delta Air Lines addressed the situation in a statement: “Our teams worked as quickly and safely as possible to thoroughly clean the airplane and get our customers to their final destination. We sincerely apologize to our customers for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans.”