Delta Air Lines has come under fire for allegedly telling a passenger boarding a flight to sit in a feces-covered seat or be left behind at the airport.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Matthew Meehan said he boarded the flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to Miami, Florida, on Thursday and sat down—only to be horrified by the smell. He said he initially thought the flight was just stinky but quickly realized the offensive odor was radiating from his seat.
“And then I went to take my charger out, bent down completely to charge my phone and realized it’s not just a smell, it’s actually feces and it’s all over the back of my legs, it’s all over the floor, all over the wall of the plane. And I sat in it,” Meehan recalled.
He claimed the crew said they had reported the biohazard and appeared confused as to why it wasn’t cleaned. He told the outlet that he was taken aback when the crew didn’t attempt to clean the area but provided him with two paper towels and a bottle of gin to wash off with in the aircraft’s restroom.
At this point, he said it was unclear whether the feces belonged to a human. While a gate agent reportedly referred to paperwork indicating that an elderly man had fallen ill upon a previous flight, Delta Corporate said it belonged to a golden retriever, according to Yahoo.
Its origin is of no interest to Meehan.
“But to me, it doesn’t matter. It’s feces; it carries disease any way you look at it,” he said.
He claimed that staff refused to sanitize the area and instructed him to speak with someone if he had a problem. After exiting the plane, he reportedly spoke with a manager who he said was “confrontational” and instructed him to get into his seat or “be left behind.”
Meehan went on to tell WSB-TV that fellow passengers laid blankets over the feces-contaminated seat so he could sit through the late night flight.
“I have never in my entire life felt more dehumanized. I felt like an animal,” he told the news station. “Words can’t even describe how awful it was, and they had so many opportunities to make it right.”
In a statement issued to Business Insider, Delta Air Lines confirmed that passengers boarded the flight before crews could clean—and admitted that a service animal had become sick during the previous flight.
The carrier has since apologized and told WSB-TV that it’s launching a full investigation.
“Delta apologizes to customers impacted by the incident and has reached out to make it right, offering a refund and additional compensation,” the company said.
“The safety and health of our customers and employees is our top priority, and we are conducting a full investigation while following up with the right teams to prevent this from happening again.”
[Featured image: Pixabay]