A Delta Air Lines flight traveling from Atlanta to Barcelona on Friday night was compelled to turn back after a passenger experienced a bout of diarrhea.
The Airbus A350 had departed on schedule on the evening of September 1 with 336 passengers on board but was forced to reverse course over central Virginia.
The decision to return to Atlanta was explained by one of the pilots of DL 194 to air traffic control as, “It’s just a biohazard issue; we had a passenger who had diarrhea all the way through the airplane, so they want us to come back to Atlanta.”
FlightAware reported that the Airbus A350 landed back at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport slightly over two hours after takeoff.
Delta Airlines stated that the flight experienced a delay of just over eight hours but ultimately landed in Barcelona without further complications on Saturday at 5:16 p.m. local time. A spokesperson for Delta expressed apologies to the passengers, stating, “Our teams worked as quickly and safely as possible to get our customers to their final destination. We sincerely apologize to our customers for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans.”
This incident is not the first this summer in which passengers had their travel disrupted due to bodily fluids. In a separate occurrence, Air Canada issued an apology this week after two passengers were directed to sit in seats that had been inadequately cleaned and were contaminated with vomit from a previous flight. This incident took place on a flight from Las Vegas to Montreal on August 26.
Additionally, on June 30, a passenger on an Air France flight from Paris to Toronto found the footwell of his seat still wet with a previous passenger’s blood and diarrhea. The passenger, Habib Battah, reported an unusual smell resembling “manure” and alerted a flight attendant. He was provided with wet wipes and had to clean the area himself, ultimately being offered blankets from business class to absorb the waste. Battah described enduring the unpleasant odor of blood for the duration of the seven-hour flight.