After a passenger on board experienced an extreme attack of diarrhoea that “ran all the way through the plane,” a Delta flight from Atlanta to Barcelona was forced to turn back.
At 8:47 p.m. on Friday, September 1, Flight DL194 had left Georgia as planned and was en route to Virginia when the pilots made the decision to cancel the flight.
The captain gave a clear explanation of the issue in a text message to Air Traffic Control: “Divert to ATL — passenger diarrhoea all over aircraft — biohazard.”
The incident was confirmed over the radio, according to air traffic control audio records of one of the pilots.
“It’s just a biohazard issue, we had a passenger who had diarrhoea all the way through the airplane so they want us to come back to Atlanta.”
The whole ordeal was pretty horrifying for everyone on board, and dozens of passengers have spoken out on social media about what happened.
Dee W wrote: “My partner was on that flight! It was pretty bad. It was dribbled down the aisle, smelled horrible.
“The vanilla scented disinfectant used on it only made it smell like vanilla s***. After the plane landed, it was thoroughly cleaned. They didn’t leave until around 2:30am.
“The flight was met by emergency vehicles and EMTs carried the sick passenger off the plane.
“My partner said the plane was cleaner when they got back on at 2am than it was the first time they got on. No smell either.”
Another traveller on board gave the cleanup effort high marks.
“Both my wife and I were on the flight. It was a mess. The pilots made the right decision to turn around. The ground crew ripped out the carpet and put new in.
“Considering the circumstances, the ground crew did a great job, along the attendants and the pilots,” wrote John Hurdt.
The plane landed in Atlanta at 10:40 p.m., and little over five hours later, at 3 am, it started flying again towards Spain.
The airline gave a statement, writing: “Our teams worked as quickly and safely as possible to thoroughly clean the airplane and get our customers to their final destination.
“We sincerely apologise to our customers for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans.”