Well that’s disgusting: multiple passengers who took a nine-hour British Airways flight from Canada to the United Kingdom have reported that their seats were crawling with bed bugs, with some passengers claiming to have been covered in bites by the time they landed.
The nightmarish flight took place on October 10 traveled from British Columbia to London, The Globe and Mail reported. According to Heather Szilagyi, who was aboard the flight with her fiancé and her seven-year-old-daughter, the bedbugs were clearly visible to the naked eye.
“To actually see them pouring out of the back of the TV on the seat, that was actually really gross,” she said. “Once we arrived at our Airbnb … we put everything through the washing machine on the hottest heat we could, put everything in plastic bags, sanitized everything we could.”
When Szilagyi asked to be moved, she was told by a flight attendant that there were no other available seats on the plane, and by the time she landed, she and her daughter had been bitten multiple times.
Unfortunately, these kinds of incidents could be on the rise, as entomology professor Murray Isman told the outlet.
“One of the ways bedbugs travel is in hand luggage and personal luggage,” he said. “Where there is a lot of movement of people in and out, sooner or later someone is going to transfer these things in something they’re carrying, and this is how they get spread from hotel to hotel to hotel and this is how people bring them home.”
Isman did offer a ray of hope for travelers who don’t want to get eaten alive in coach: bed bugs typically prefer quiet, dark areas and would have to make the unlikely journey from bed to suitcase to airplane upholstery before they start causing damage.
British Airways said that it has gotten in touch with Szilagyi to apologize (and hopefully offer some free stuff). The airline has also launched an investigation into the incident.