Air Canada is expelling its customers for refusing to take their seats because of vomiting
Two passengers on an Air Canada flight have been escorted off the plane for refusing to sit in wet seats covered in vomit.
Susan Benson was a fellow passenger on the same Aug. 26 flight from Seattle to Montreal and was sitting near vomit. She shared the incident in a now viral Facebook post to hold the airline accountable because she felt it was unfair to the passengers.
“There was a bit of a bad smell but we didn’t know at first what the problem was,” Benson wrote in the post. “Apparently, on the previous flight someone vomited in that area. Air Canada tried to do a quick cleanup before boarding the plane but was clearly unable to do a thorough cleanup.
According to Benson, the seat belt and seat were still visibly wet and there was vomit residue around the seats. The smell of vomit mixed with the smell of perfume and coffee grounds, which were placed in the seat bag to mask the smell.
Passengers notified a flight attendant that they couldn’t sit in those seats during the five-hour flight, calling the incident “unacceptable,” Benson told USA TODAY by phone.
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“It was clear that the passengers were upset and visibly annoyed,” Benson said. “They weren’t rude, they weren’t shouting, they weren’t hostile. They were firm and they insisted she couldn’t sit there.
According to Benson, the flight attendants deeply apologized and said, “There was a miscommunication with the cleaning staff the night before and the seat was not cleaned properly.” They also told the passengers that there was nothing they could do because all the seats were full.
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After some time back and forth, the passengers were given blankets, tissues and more vomit bags and settled into the flight.
Then the pilot came to the passengers and, according to the post, “told the ladies that they had two options: they could leave the plane on their own and organize flights at their own expense, or they would be escorted off the plane.” By security and put on the no-fly list!
Security came shortly after and escorted the women off the flight. “Air Canada literally expects the passerby (sic) to sit vomiting or be escorted off the plane and put on the no-fly list!” Benson Books.
The flight was delayed 31 minutes, but arrived in Montreal safely.
Benson told USA TODAY that she posted details of the incident online to hold Air Canada accountable so they “do something about it.” She feels as though the airline is treating the passengers unfairly.
Air Canada did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment but shared a statement with Insider saying, “We are reviewing this serious matter internally and have followed up directly with customers where our operating procedures were not properly followed in this instance. This includes an apology to those customers, because It is clear that they have not received the level of care they deserve and their concerns addressed.
“I really hope they really do something, and they don’t say they’re doing this just to keep the peace,” Benson said. “(The passengers) were not at all unreasonable in my opinion.”
Kathleen Wong is a travel correspondent for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org