British Airways has apologized to a Canadian family who reported being feasted upon by a pack of bed bugs during an overnight flight from Vancouver to London earlier this month, CTV Vancouver reports.
Passenger Heather Szilagyi was flying with her fiancé, Eric Neilson, and eight-year-old daughter when she spotted several of the bugs on the seat in front of her. She also saw another bug on the seat when they received their in-flight meals, and then a few later in the flight.
According to her, she was able to identify them as bed bugs due to her experience in hotel industry. She flagged the flight attendant asking to be moved, but got no help.
After the nine-hour flight, she said she and her daughter were covered with bed bug bites.
The family tried contacting customer service about the problem, but to no avail. They then decided to post the incident on Twitter.
Look out for bedbugs on long flights, particularly those by @British_Airways . Having a horrific trip to a funeral in Slovenia. https://twitter.com/EricFaceplant/status/918520602813714433 …
@British_Airways Hi. I have received extremely bad customer support for a recent issue with bedbugs on an overnight flight. Pics: pic.twitter.com/O80hXqyrsU
@British_Airways that is a picture of my fiancée’s shoulders the day after the flight. Here is what her daughter’s legs look like now: pic.twitter.com/iacAQ61Rhf
British Airways reached out a few days later, offering an apology and an upgraded return flight.
In a statement, the airline said:
We have been in touch with our customer to apologize and investigate further. British Airways operates more than 280,000 flights every year, and reports of bedbugs on board are extremely rare. Nevertheless, we are vigilant and continually monitor our aircraft.
Although Szilagyi said that wasn’t exactly what she was after. She said she just wanted the situation to be taken care of.
It’s horrible for me because all these people think that we’re just wanting attention and wanting to sue a company, but this is not what I want to be known for. I don’t want to be ‘bed bug girl’.