The unforeseen "onboard medical emergency" mandated the Airbus A350, belonging to Delta Airlines, to prematurely touch down in Atlanta. Subsequently, the aircraft underwent an extensive five-hour cleansing operation, necessitating the replacement of a section of the aisle carpet that bore the brunt of the incident's aftermath.
Following an arduous eight-hour delay, passengers, including the afflicted traveler, were permitted to re-board the flight, ultimately reaching their destination in Barcelona without further incident.
Eyewitness accounts, disseminated via social media, offered glimpses into the ordeal. Flight attendants, in their valiant efforts to mitigate the situation, resorted to employing paper towels and fragrant disinfectants in their clean-up endeavors. Regrettably, these efforts inadvertently imbued the cabin with an unmistakable fragrance described by one passenger as "vanilla excrement."
Another account mentioned the cabin crew's placement of an absorbent paper "runner" across the aisle. Passengers were compelled to navigate around this unconventional obstacle as they disembarked in Atlanta.
An audio recording capturing a dialogue between the pilot and air traffic control unveiled the catalyst for the aircraft's sudden reversal over central Virginia. The pilot calmly stated, "It's simply a biohazard concern. We had a passenger who exhibited uncontrollable diarrhea throughout the airplane, prompting the decision to return to Atlanta."
This audio recording was shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, alongside an image of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) flight strip corroborating the reason for the mid-flight change of course.
Delta Airlines attributed the incident to an "onboard medical issue" and issued an apology, stating, "Our teams diligently and expeditiously worked to transport our valued customers to their final destination. We extend our heartfelt apologies to our passengers for the delay and the disruption to their travel plans."
This incident followed a similar episode from the previous week when Air Canada issued an apology to two passengers who were removed from a flight bound from Seattle to Montreal. Their grievance stemmed from being assigned seats marred by residual vomit.
In conclusion, this incident underscores the unpredictability of air travel and the challenges that both passengers and airline personnel occasionally encounter during their journeys.
The flight, which was from Atlanta to Barcelona, was carrying 336 passengers. The pilot told air traffic control that the passenger had diarrhea "all the way through the airplane" and that they needed to return to Atlanta. The flight was delayed by about eight hours, but eventually landed in Barcelona without further incident.
This is not the first time that a flight has been disrupted by a passenger's diarrhea. In 2019, a United Airlines flight from Chicago to London was forced to make an emergency landing in Iceland after a passenger had diarrhea in the aisle. And in 2021, a Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas to Orlando was delayed for several hours after a passenger had diarrhea in the bathroom.
If you have diarrhea on a plane, there are a few things you can do to minimize the impact on other passengers:
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.
- Use the toilet paper provided in the bathroom to clean yourself up.
- Flush the toilet and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- If you have to use the sick bag, tie it up tightly and dispose of it properly.
- Let a flight attendant know what happened so they can clean the area.
It is also important to stay hydrated if you have diarrhea. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, clear broth, or sports drinks. You can also take over-the-counter medications to help relieve the symptoms.
If you have diarrhea before or during a flight, it is important to be prepared. Pack some Imodium or other medication to help control the symptoms. And be sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.