Last Updated: September 07, 2023, 15:07 IST
Air travel is often favoured for its comfort and time efficiency when covering long distances. However, not all airline journeys live up to expectations, as some incidents garner attention for less-than-ideal reasons. One recent case involved two passengers who were asked to leave an Air Canada flight travelling from Las Vegas to Montreal. This incident reportedly stemmed when they refused to occupy seats that were “covered in vomit.” The incident gained notice after fellow passenger Susan Benson, who was seated nearby, brought attention to the situation.
In a now-viral Facebook post, Susan Benson alleged that two passengers were removed from the plane after the pilot accused them of being impolite to the flight attendants. The incident occurred on August 26. Recounting the experience, the woman said, “So we recently flew with Air Canada from Las Vegas to Montreal. Seated in front of us were two ladies and a gentleman who were struggling to get seated. 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.”
According to Susan Benson’s post, the seatbelt and seat were still visibly wet, and there was vomit residue around the seats. When the passengers brought this issue to the attention, the flight attendant was apologetic but explained that the plane was full and there was nothing they could do.
“The passengers said 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. The supervisor reiterated the same thing. We are sorry, but you have to, it’s a full flight and there are no other seats available. The passengers asked if they could at least have blankets to sit on and wipes to clean themselves. Reluctantly they were given blankets wipes and more vomit bags. The best Air Canada could do,” her post further read.
The situation took a more serious turn when the pilot allegedly issued an ultimatum to the passengers. As per Benson’s post, the pilot “knelt down” and presented the women with “two options”: they could voluntarily disembark from the plane and arrange their own flights at their expense, or they would be escorted off the plane by security and potentially placed on a no-fly list.
Later, security personnel came and escorted the women passengers off the flight.
After the incident, Air Canada issued an apology to the affected customers in a statement provided to CNN. They acknowledged that the passengers did not receive the expected level of care. Furthermore, Air Canada stated, “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.”