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US flight’s return triggered by in-flight ‘Biohazard Issue’ with passenger

A recent incident involving a passenger experiencing diarrhoea distress compelled a US airliner to return to Atlanta, USA, only two hours into its flight to Spain.

The Guardian reported that Delta Airlines’ Airbus A350 had to make an unexpected landing lasting five hours for cleaning purposes, including the replacement of a soiled aisle carpet. Following an eight-hour delay, passengers, including the individual with the health issue, were allowed to re-board and eventually arrived in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon.

According to accounts posted on social media by certain passengers, the flight crew attempted to clean up the situation using paper towels and scented disinfectant. However, as one traveler pointed out, this effort unintentionally transformed the plane into an unpleasant “vanilla excrement” scent. Another passenger recounted how cabin crew placed an absorbent paper “runner” over the aisle, which led to passengers having to awkwardly navigate over seats when disembarking in Atlanta.

The UK newspaper reported that an audio recording capturing a dialogue between the pilot and air traffic control disclosed the cause for the aircraft’s sudden return over central Virginia.

The pilot added, “It’s merely a biohazard issue. We had a passenger who had diarrhea throughout the airplane, so they instructed us to return to Atlanta.”

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Updated: 08 Sep 2023, 10:49 AM IST

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