An Air Transat plane had to cancel its journey between London and Vancouver due to an insect infestation. Passengers reported bugs an inch long were falling from overhead lockers as they prepared to take off. As a result, the trip was delayed 24 hours so that the aircraft could be fumigated.
Passengers were apparently left ‘screaming in terror’ on an Air Transat flight from Gatwick this week, as cockroach like bugs tumbled onto their heads. Apparently falling from overhead lockers, the ‘brown beetles with wings’ were seen scurrying along the aisle as flight attendants attempted to squash them.
It’s the second story in a month regarding insects infesting aircraft. What’s next, snakes?
Air Transat flight TS177 was due to depart from London Gatwick on Wednesday 26th June, heading to Vancouver in Canada. Passengers boarded the Airbus A330, registered C-GGTS, on time and were taking their seats when bugs began falling from overhead lockers onto their heads and laps.
A passenger, Jenna Sullivan, told the Mail about her experience, saying,
We had been on the plane a few minutes when a bug just fell down between my seat and the man next to me. Another fell into his lap and he picked it up. The flight attendant told him to kill it immediately and he did. Most of the bugs seem to be at the back of the plane, but others on board said they saw them running up the main aisle.”
A bug has now fallen out of the ceiling into the seat next to me. Lovely.
— Jenna Sullivan (@flywithjenna) June 26, 2019
One passenger even filmed the episode:
Once flight attendants realized what was going on, they apparently contacted pest control officers for the airline. The pest control team boarded the plane, and then began to spray pesticide around the seats with the passengers still on board!
After two and a half hours on the tarmac, the captain decided it was serious enough to deplane all the passengers. The flight was eventually cancelled and rescheduled to the following day.
Delayed 24 hours
It appears the passengers were left at the airport for some time before being advised that their trip was suspended until the next day.
— Catherine Johnson (@CathJohnson66) June 26, 2019
@airtransat RE flight TS177 shocking customer care at @Gatwick_Airport this afternoon. Made to wait 2.5 hrs stuck on tarmac- then made to get off the plane as it’s infested with INSECTS!! No communication from any staff, no one knows what’s going on. Not good enough. Sort it out.
— Katy Mason (@katymasonn) June 26, 2019
According to passengers on Twitter, they were eventually allocated accommodation for the night, with the flight rescheduled to the next day. However, even when they arrived back at the airport, some were still not convinced that their flight would go ahead.
Our yesterday 12:10 flight ts177 from LGW to YVR has been rescheduled to 11:15 today. 23 hours delay. But gate info is going to be announced at 11 AM today. Are you sure you can get all passengers on board in 15 minutes, Air transat? No more delay please. #airtransat #flightdelay pic.twitter.com/Ey8oNndB5H
— akiranran (@akiranran4) June 27, 2019
It seems that, finally, the Air Transat flight took off with all passengers (and hopefully fewer bugs) on board. Data from Flight Radar 24 shows the plane finally departed London at 13:41 yesterday, arriving in Vancouver at 15:07 local time.
Speaking to the Express, an Air Transat spokesperson said,
“The safety and comfort of our passengers is of paramount importance, and we are sorry for the delay to our flight to Vancouver which was due to the need to fumigate the aircraft. Passengers were provided with hotel accommodation and meals, and we regret any inconvenience caused by the delay to their journey.”
Air Transat was confirmed as being taken over by Air Canada in a deal announced yesterday. Let’s hope Air Canada do a better job of keeping passengers informed, and keeping bugs out!