British Airways Apologises For Bed Bugs on Flight
British Airways apologised to a family of three for a bed bug encounter that occurred on a nine hour flight from Vancouver to London.
\"I wanted to grab it but theyre quick, and it crawled back inside, behind the screen. It was nine hours of knowing that I was probably going to get bit but not being sure, but there wasnt really anything I could do about it. I was surprised I was able to relax but, what can you do? They tag onto your luggage, Molly was just covered all over in bites. What were upset about is that trying to get ahold of British Airways to make sure that we dont get the same airplane back was impossible” said Heather Szilagyi, who was flying with her fiance Eric Neilson and her daughter Molly.
Having worked in hotels most of her life Szilagyi knew what the bugs were straight away, she said “these things just happen”. She alerted the flight attendants who apologised but did not seem surprised at all by the sightings.
After the flight, Szilagyi said, “We were just covered all over in bites, some of which became infected”. The couple tried to contact British Airways to request a different plane on their return flight but to no avail. “Their customer service line is only open four hours a day, and the hours are in a different time zone. When I tried to call, a recorded message said the line was too busy and my call was dropped, I had to find a loophole, doing that thing where you just hit 0 over and over and over again, and we finally got somebody.\"
The couple felt they were not asking for too much, they just wanted to know the plane for their return flight was clean or if they could switch to a partner airline. But they were frustrated the supervisor and service representative could not do anything for them.
\"Eric finally told them were going to have to go to social media, and I dont want to do that but we did anyways,\" Szilagyi said. They posted on Twitter of their ordeal and heard from a British Airways representative a few days later who arranged for the family to fly first class on their way home and there were no bed bugs on that flight.
“Ultimately, we hope British Airways evaluates how it cleans its planes following bed bug sightings, and that they expand their customer service to operate 24 hours a day. Im not asking for any money, Im not asking for anything. It was really, really hard on us just spending all of our time on the phone and arguing with people and knowing that they wanted to help us but werent allowed”. Szilagyi said after returning home.
A British Airways Representative 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 bed bugs onboard are extremely rare. Nevertheless, we are vigilant and continually monitor our aircraft.\"
The company said the presence of bed bugs is an issue faced by hotels and airlines around the world.