Passenger After Puke Incident: 'I Am Ashamed to Be Canadian'

Air Canada takes heat for booting 2 passengers who refused to sit in vomit-covered seats
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2023 2:21 PM CDT
Passengers Who Didn't Like Puke-Covered Seats Get Booted
An Air Canada plane approaches for landing in Lisbon, Portugal, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Two passengers booked for a flight from Vegas to Montreal last month were escorted off the plane before takeoff, all because they wouldn't sit in their puke-soaked seats. The AP reports that the incident took place Aug. 26 on an Air Canada plane, on which Susan Benson was also a passenger. In a now-viral Facebook post, Benson describes how she was seated behind a man and two women "who were struggling to get seated," apparently tied to the "foul smell" that Benson said was wafting through the cabin. Soon, it became clear to Benson and others that someone had thrown up while sitting in those seats in front of her on a previous flight.

"Air Canada attempted a quick cleanup before boarding but clearly wasn't able to do a thorough clean," Benson writes. She notes that crew members "placed coffee grinds in the seat pouch and sprayed perfume to mask the smell," but the new passengers who were seated there were upset, telling a flight attendant "that the seat and seatbelt were wet and there was still visible vomit residue in their area." Per Benson, the flight attendant did apologize but noted that the flight was full and they'd have to stay in those seats. That didn't sit well with the passengers, though Benson says they tried to prep their seating for the next four-plus hours with blankets and wipes they requested from a "reluctant" crew.

That's when the pilot emerged, according to Benson, and told the two irritated women "they could leave the plane on their own accord and organize flights on their own dime, or they would be escorted off the plane by security and placed on a no fly list!" Benson describes the women as "upset and firm, but not rude," but the pair was indeed escorted off the plane by security. USA Today notes the plane was delayed in its Montreal arrival by about a half-hour. Benson tells the paper she publicized the incident on social media—and tagged Air Canada in the post—so that the airline "would do something about it."

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"I am ashamed to be a Canadian and ashamed of Air Canada," she writes in her post. It's not clear what Air Canada has done for the passengers who were booted, but it did release a statement noting that "our operating procedures were not followed correctly," per the AP. The airline also offered a mea culpa to the passengers who tried to refuse their seats. "They clearly did not receive the standard of care to which they were entitled," Air Canada said, adding that an investigation into the matter is ongoing. (More Air Canada stories.)

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