When people are up in the air, the cleanliness of airplanes is typically not something they want to think of. But for an unfortunate Air France passenger, this unpleasant thought became a distressing reality during his flight, stumbling upon a blood-soaked patch of carpet that he was forced to clean up by himself.
A Stomach-Turning Discovery
Habib Battah and his wife were having what appeared to be an ordinary day as they boarded their Air France flight from Paris to Toronto on June 30. However, things took an unexpected turn when Battah noticed blood on the carpet right in front of his feet.
Suspicious Scent on Plane
It was only 10 minutes into the flight when Battah started to sense that something was not quite right. “I started smelling something, a manure smell, and I kept thinking, ‘Oh no. It's the cats,'" he recounted.
A 20-Inch Red Stain
Traveling with their cats, Battah and his wife had them placed under the seat in front during the flight. When Battah decided to check on the cats to ensure they are doing well, he noticed that beneath one of the carriers, there was a sizable wet stain on the floor, measuring around 20 inches in length and width.
Without hesitation, Battah promptly asked a flight attendant for a tissue. “I said it smells like merde – s..t. She handed me wet wipes. I started wiping and it was red – blood red.”
“It kept coming up red”
As Battah encountered the red blood, he remembered his reaction, saying, “It kept coming up red. I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I just wanted to see what it was. After a while, one of the flight attendants said, ‘You’d better go wash your hands, and here are some gloves.’”
Forced To Wipe Blood
Battah explained, "I wiped it, and it was blood red." He also had to use more tissues to clean the area. “Trying to furiously get rid of this awfulness. I used a whole pack of wet wipes.”
Flight Attendant Reveals the Truth
“What the hell is going on? What's on my seat? What am I stepping in?" He recalled exclaiming. "And then the flight attendant just kind of said, ‘Oh, somebody actually hemorrhaged on the previous flight, so it must be that.’ ”
Silent Flight Attendants
Battah expressed that only one flight attendant appeared to be “angry [on Battah’s behalf], he was apologizing. However, he said that the other flight attendants did not react. “I asked, what’s your protocol for this, but they said nothing. I’m pretty sure there is none.”
The couple said that they were given "two small bottles of Evian water" as compensation. Additionally, they were provided with two blankets from the business class section to place on the floor, along with powder to absorb the blood.
Enduring Unbearable Odor and Blood-Stained Seat
With the flight being completely full, the couple did not have the option to be moved to another seat. “We had to sit there smelling the blood for the next seven hours,” Battah said. “The smell of rotten blood is like manure. I’d taken my shoes off at the start of the flight, and there was blood on my socks.”
Air France's Responds to Incident
In a statement, the airline clarified: “Air France confirms that a customer became unwell on a flight from Paris (CDG) to Boston (BOS) on June 29 and soiled his seat. Passengers in the immediate vicinity of the customer were nevertheless moved for their own comfort.”
Air France reported that the passenger received medical attention from the appropriate teams after arriving in Boston, with “a complete clean-up of the area” being requested and the row of seats being unavailable on the return flight as a precautionary measure.
Dirty and Bloody Plane
“[The incident] was two flights before ours, so in Boston the clean-up didn’t happen,” Battah asserted. “The plane returned to Paris, this bloody, dirty, sh..ty plane. And we got on it. That means other passengers were also exposed to it. I think they endangered their passengers’ wellbeing.”
Acknowledging Blood Traces Incident
Air France acknowledged the incident, stating “A customer traveling on the next flight from Paris (CDG) to Toronto (YYZ) reported residual traces of blood on the floor, soiling his personal belongings.”
Continuing with the statement, the airline further explained, “The crew immediately took action to clean the carpet and installed blankets on the ground to avoid any further contact with the stain, while assisting the passenger in the cleaning of his belongings, providing him with suitable equipment such as sterile gloves and disinfectant wipes.”
“I brought that blood home”
Arriving in a "state of shock," and with no way to leave the cats behind, Battah grabbed the carrier, threw it over his back like a backpack, and carried it all the way to Toronto. “I brought that blood home,” he said.
“They sent me home with a biohazard. They never stopped me and said, ‘Hey, we don’t know what this patient had [wrong with him].’ It was so negligent.”
Battah received a call from Air France three days after the incident, assuring him that the previous passenger was not carrying any infectious diseases. However, there was something else the airline wanted to inform him about, as he recounted, “They just casually kind of said, ‘Oh, it was also feces.’“
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.