Air Canada Passengers Asked To Sit On Vomit-Soaked Seats


The Public Health Agency of Canada is now investigating Air Canada after crew members were set to force two passengers to sit on vomit-soaked seats for a five-hour flight from Las Vegas to Montreal last week. The pair never got that chance, however, because the captain kicked them off the plane for “rude behavior.” The airline has already apologized to the passengers, and the crew will likely be spending some time with HR. “They clearly did not receive the standard of care to which they were entitled,” the airline said in a statement emailed to The Canadian Press. “Our operating procedures were not followed correctly in this instance.”

The passengers saw and smelled the vomit on their seats and protested to flight attendants, who were sympathetic but said there were no seats available on the full flight. The passengers asked for wipes to clean the seats themselves and blankets to sit on, and as they were trying to make the best of it the captain appeared and gave them the option to leave voluntarily or he’d call security. Amid protests from fellow passengers the two were escorted off the plane and their names put on an internal no-fly list.

The story went viral on social media and the health officials got wind of it. “Blood, vomit and diarrhea may contain microorganisms that can cause disease. These fluids, and the surfaces that come in contact with them, should always be considered as contaminated,” the agency said in a statement. The agency said it had been in contact with Air Canada on Wednesday.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I just came back from vacation. Unfortunately I flew air Canada. I can attest that they are every bit as bad as Spirt. And I didn’t think that was possible.

    The seating is terrible. The service, if you can call it that, is lacking in every regard. Most of the staffing is either rude or inattentive.

    Gate changes and signage are poorly displayed, if at all. If I had been given a different airline choice, I would have taken it in a minute.

  2. Sue the Captain for putting the lives of two passengers at risk of coming down with a potentially very bad illness.

    • Mike, I’m sure that, as we all write these comments, there are attorneys drooling as they catch wind of this….

  3. Six of us Aussies travelled premium economy by AirCan from Brisbane to Oshkosh this year via Vancouver to Chicago and return. First time with AirCan. Always flown Qantas in the past.
    The service was great, flights on time, aircraft and entertainment system on 787 was faultless.
    Much better than Qantas service and aircraft last year and the prices were significantly less and the block times about 4 hours less. We’d happily fly with them again. Then again, no second hand vomit was evident on our flights that we detected!

  4. Dave, it’s still a great country. It’s the current administration that smells. That seeps into various institutions over time.

  5. I believe a similar incident happened on Delta two or three weeks ago involving diarrhea, where a customer left a trail up and down the aisle and of course the lav. The aircraft was out of Atlanta, bound for Barcelona. Some of it came in contact with other pax. The aircraft returned to Atlanta on the basis that the flight was contaminated with a “biohazard”.

    After a five hour delay and cleaning, the passengers (and one who had the problem) reboarded and flew to Spain.

  6. There are lots of other reasons for supporting the recent nomination of Air Canada for the worst airline in the air such as cancelling flights after hours of delay, and then blaming it on weather while the real reason was that someone failed to get a security clearance for the flight to the USA.
    This “Vomit-Comet” story is proof that AC is simply un-Canadian.

  7. I hope Air Canada, as well as the employees personally, get sued for a couple millions for this. Such behavior by a professional airline crew simply is not acceptable.

  8. Well, you don’t have to wait…
    This week in the news a couple was found making love in the airplane bathroom. All over the news…not an AC flight though…