A horrified airline passenger was forced to sit in blood and diarrhea during a seven-hour flight and then given wet wipes to clean it up after a previous traveler “bleeded” in his seat.
Habib Battah was flying from Paris to Toronto on Air France when he noticed a peculiar odor coming from the footwell under his and his wife’s seats shortly after the plane took off.
“It smelled like manure,” he told CNN.
The couple was taking a Boeing 777 flight with their two cats, who were in the footwell in front of the couple, each in a separate luggage rack. They were moving from Lebanon to the US, where the journalist Battah will work for a short time as a university professor.
Battah said: “It was our first time traveling with the cats, and I was thinking, ‘Oh, gosh, they’ve had an accident, I’m so embarrassed.’
Habib Battah and his wife were flying with their two cats in the footwell. When he noticed that the stains had soaked into the bin, he used a whole packet of baby wipes to clean it up.
Battah tweeted about the ordeal a day after the incident. Because the flight was full, the couple was unable to change seats.
So I thought, maybe it’s someone’s body odor. I was sniffing and sniffing, then I said, let me get the cats out.’
Battah squatted down on his hands and knees to check on the pets and they were all fine.
However, he noticed a wet spot on the floor under the cat carriers, about 20 inches long and wide, and told the flight attendant he was passing by.
Battah commented, ‘I said it smells like merde-s***. He handed me wet wipes. I started cleaning and it was red, blood red. And it kept coming out red. I was like, “What the hell is this?” I just wanted to see what it was. After a while, one of the flight attendants said, “You’d better go wash your hands and here are some gloves.”
While Battah was busy cleaning up the stain, the flight attendant relayed the message to her colleagues and the captain contacted Paris asking about the stain.
Air France headquarters explained that it was human blood, since the previous day, on a flight from Paris to Boston, a male passenger had suffered what the crew called a “hemorrhage”, according to Battah.
Fortunately, the passenger had survived and the captain of that trip had requested that the area be cleaned for the plane’s next flight back to the French capital, but the cleaners seemed to have forgotten about the floor.
Air France headquarters explained that it was human blood, since the day before, on a flight from Paris to Boston, a male passenger had suffered what the crew called a “hemorrhage,” according to Battah.
The flight attendant casually informed Battah that it was blood and later noted that the cat’s container was also stained and blood had soaked through the baby carrier, which doubled as a backpack.
He used an entire packet of baby wipes in a hasty attempt to clean up the mess.
Battah said only one flight attendant seemed bothered by him and apologized, while the others were unconcerned.
When asked what the protocol was for incidents like this, since it also endangers the flight crew, they replied that there was none.
The couple said they were offered two small bottles of Evian water to make up and were also given two business class blankets to put on the floor, along with some blood stain powder.
It was a full flight, so there was no room for Battah and his wife to change seats.
He said: “We had to sit there smelling the blood for the next seven hours.”
The smell of rotten blood is like manure. I had taken my shoes off at the start of the flight and had blood on my socks.
Three days after Battah’s flight on June 30, Air France told him by phone that the blood had mixed with feces.
Air France said in a statement to CNN that a passenger was unwell on a flight the previous day from Paris to Boston and received medical treatment upon arrival.
“According to the procedure in this type of situation, a complete cleaning of the area was requested and the row of seats was disabled on the return flight. [from Boston to Paris]’ the statement said.
‘A customer traveling on the next flight from Paris (CDG) to Toronto (YYZ) reported residual traces of blood on the floor, soiling his personal belongings. The crew immediately helped clean up his belongings, providing him with the proper equipment, such as sterile gloves and disinfectant wipes.
‘As the flight was fully booked, it was not possible to move the passenger.
“An internal investigation has been launched to understand the reasons for this situation.”
The airline said it “understands and regrets the inconvenience caused by this situation” and that it was in contact with Battah.
The statement added: “The risk of exposure to residual traces of blood on the carpet is low, if not non-existent.”
Battah said: ‘I have been covering Beirut for 20 years as a journalist. I have lived through wars, air raids, seen murders, car bombs and narrowly survived the port explosion. I thought I had seen it all. I did not expect to find more blood than I have seen in Beirut on an Air France plane.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.