Air Canada apologises to 2 passengers kicked off flight for refusing to sit in vomit-covered seats
Two passengers were about to settle into their seats for a five-hour flight from Las Vegas to Montreal on Aug 26, but realised that their seats were covered in vomit left from a previous flight.
They complained to a flight attendant but were escorted off the plane by security instead.
Now, Air Canada had issued an apology to the two women involved the incident, according to news reports this week.
Two women and a man were “struggling to get seated” on Flight AC 1706, wrote Ms Susan Benson in a lengthy Facebook post on Aug 29. Ms Benson was seated in the row behind the two women and the man on the flight.
“There was a bit of a foul smell but we didn’t know at first what the problem was,” wrote Ms Benson.
“Apparently, on the previous flight someone had vomited in that area. Air Canada attempted a quick cleanup before boarding but clearly wasn’t able to do a thorough clean.”
The airline placed coffee grinds in the seat pouch and sprayed perfume to “mask the smell” of the vomit, wrote Ms Benson.
The passengers then told a flight attendant that the “seat and seatbelt were wet” and there was still “visible vomit residue in their area”, wrote Ms Benson.
Although the flight attendant was “very apologetic”, there was nothing that they could do as it was a full flight, she added.
The passengers argued back and forth for a few minutes with the flight attendant, before her supervisor was roped into the conversation, wrote Ms Benson.
However, her supervisor echoed what the flight attendant said: “We are sorry, but you have to, it’s a full flight and there’s no other seats available.”
The passengers were later given blanket, wipes and vomit bags “reluctantly” after they requested for the items to clean the area themselves.
However, after they were settled in their seats, the pilot came down the aisle and told the two women they had two choices.
They could leave the plane on their own accord and organise their flights at their own cost or they could be escorted off the plane by security and placed on a no-fly list.
“When they asked why, he said they were rude to the flight attendant. They were certainly not! They were upset and firm, but not rude!” wrote Ms Benson.
Although the male passenger besides the two women tried to explain the situation to the pilot, they were escorted off the plane by security.
“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!” wrote Ms Benson.
In a statement to CNN, Air Canada said that the airline had issued an apology to the customers “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,” said the airline.
“We remain in contact with them about this matter.”
In recent months, passengers have encountered other bodily fluids on flights.
Last week, a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Barcelona was forced to turn around over what one of the pilots described as “passenger diarrhoea... all the way through the plane”.
In July, a journalist on an Air France flight had to endure the smell of rotting blood mixed with traces of faeces. This was after the airline’s crew failed to thoroughly clean up when a passenger on a previous flight suffered a haemorrhage.