British Airways Grounds Plane After Crew Spots Bedbugs, Refuses to Fly

Jan 16, 2018

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A British Airways crew refused to operate a flight when the aircraft was discovered to be infested with bedbugs. Shortly before the flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Accra, Ghana (ACC) was set to take off, the crew walked off the aircraft after the bugs were spotted.

“The cabin crew saw bedbugs crawling over the seats — visible to the naked eye,” a British Airways source said to The Sun. “They said it was unacceptable to work on that aircraft.”

British Airways said that it took the aircraft out of service as soon as the issue was raised. By the time a replacement aircraft was found, the crew was beyond its working hours. A different crew was located to operate the flight. In all, the flight was delayed about four hours.

In October 2017, British Airways had a similar incident on one of its aircraft after a family reported bites on board a long-haul flight from Vancouver (YVR) to London (LHR).

This most recent incident means bad news for the carrier, which has battled to defend and restore its reputation. In recent years, cuts have been made to the overall passenger experience, such as reducing seat pitch on some of its short-haul aircraft, as well as in the customer service department. In January 2018, however, BA made a move to try and restore its reputation by offering four-course meals for some long-haul economy passengers.

Featured image by Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images.

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