Delta flight makes emergency return to Atlanta due to in-flight diarrhea incident


A Delta Air Lines flight destined for Barcelona was compelled to make an emergency return to Atlanta on the evening of September 1, following a distressing in-flight incident involving a passenger’s severe bout of diarrhea.

The incident unfolded aboard an Airbus A350, which had initially departed Atlanta with 336 passengers on board, bound for Barcelona. However, over central Virginia, the flight was abruptly rerouted due to the concerning biohazard situation that had developed on board.

A Delta pilot on DL 194 communicated the situation to air traffic control, stating, “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 data indicates that the Airbus A350 successfully returned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport slightly more than two hours after takeoff. Delta Airlines later confirmed that the flight experienced an overall delay of just over eight hours but eventually reached its destination in Barcelona without further complications, touching down on Saturday at 5:16 p.m. local time. A Delta spokesperson expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to 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.”

Notably, this incident is not the first this summer in which passengers’ travel experiences have been disrupted by bodily fluid-related issues. Earlier this week, Air Canada issued an apology after passengers were directed to seats that had not been adequately cleaned and were contaminated with vomit from a previous flight, which occurred during a flight between Las Vegas and Montreal on August 26. Additionally, on June 30, a traveler aboard an Air France flight from Paris to Toronto encountered a seat footwell that was still wet with a previous passenger’s blood and diarrhea. Habib Battah, the affected passenger, recounted his ordeal, describing a disturbing odor and the flight attendants’ insufficient response, ultimately requiring him to clean the area himself and use business class blankets to mitigate the situation.

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