Passengers are increasingly frustrated by flight delays, crowded airports, long lines and declining service, but those problems seem minor compared to a smelly incident on a recent Continental Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Newark.
Sewage overflowing from toilets while high over the Atlantic Ocean forced passengers to hold their noses for several hours, according to KING-TV, an NBC News affiliate in Seattle.
“To be blatantly honest, I was more nervous than I had ever been on a flight,” said passenger Collin Brock. The Seattle man was onboard Continental Airlines' flight 1970 last week when things went bad.
“I've never felt so offended in all my life. I felt like I had been physically abused and neglected. I was forced to sit next to human excrement for seven hours,” Brock told KING-TV.
“Sickening. It's a nauseating smell. It's very uncomfortable,” Brock said of the lavatories that started spewing sewage mid-flight.
The flight left Amsterdam last Wednesday, but made an unplanned landing in Shannon, Ireland, for repairs after the lavatories went out of commission.
The flight remained grounded overnight, and took off for Newark — on the same plane — the next morning. Shortly after takeoff, sewage began to overflow, but the flight stayed on course.
“I don't know how you can say a plane needs to be grounded one day for a problem that's not as major as a problem the next day, and it doesn't qualify for being grounded,” Brock told KING-TV.
The flight had one semi-working bathroom for more than 200 passengers, he said.
The flight attendants, serving meal service in a stinky, unappetizing cabin, warned everyone not to eat or drink too much.
“To be told that we were supposed to monitor what comes out the other end of us was insulting,” Brock said. “Shame on Continental. It was the worst flight experience I have ever had.”
For his inconvenience, Continental gave Brock a $500 voucher for a future flight. He is not sure he'll ever use it.