Air Canada to passengers: Sit in vomit-stained seats or be blacklisted

Picture courtesy of Isaac Struna, Unsplash.

Air Canada publicly apologised following an incident where two passengers were forced to sit in seats contaminated with vomit from a previous flight. The flight in question journeyed from an airport in Las Vegas in the US to Montreal, Canada on August 26.

Susan Benson, a passenger on the flight, shared the distressing ordeal on Facebook on August 29. Initially, they noticed an unusual sour smell and discovered that a previous passenger had vomited in the area.

The airline had hastily cleaned the vomit from the area before allowing passengers to board, but the cleaning was insufficient, according to Benson.

“They sprinkled coffee grounds on the seats and sprayed perfume to mask the odour.”

The disgruntled passengers tried to explain to the flight attendant that the seats and seat belts were still damp and had vomit stains. The flight attendant apologised but expressed that seat changes were not possible due to a full flight, reported Sanook.

Benson added that there was a heated exchange between the passengers and crew for several minutes before the head flight attendant reiterated that the passengers had to sit in the vomit-contaminated seats because the flight was full.

Subsequently, the pilot gave an ultimatum to the passengers: either disembark the plane and pay for a new flight themselves or be escorted out and blacklisted for being rude to the flight attendant.

Despite the passengers’ frustration, Benson insisted they were not rude. Ultimately, security officials escorted the two passengers off the plane.

“As a Canadian, I feel ashamed and embarrassed by Air Canada.”

Nevertheless, Air Canada later issued an apology to the two affected passengers and revealed that they were reviewing the vomit incident internally. The airline pledged to contact the affected passengers directly to rectify this error.

They reaffirmed that the incident onboard did not meet the airline’s service standards, and they don’t normally insist passengers sit in vomit.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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