Flight Attendants on a 16-hour flight from Delhi to New York JFK were forced to use blankets to mop up ‘sewage’ that was leaking from the lavatories down the aisles of a packed Boeing 777-300 on Monday night.
Horrified passenger Anmol Kaushik captured the scene in a video posted to social media site X showing wet patches clearly visible through the blankets which had been strewn down the aisle in an attempt clean up the mess.
American Airlines flight 293 departed Delhi at around 12:30 am on Monday, and Anmol says the passengers had to deal with the sewage situation for at least ten of the 16 hours onboard the nine-year-old aircraft.
“4 lavatories flooded with sewage in front of my seat,” Anmol wrote in his social media post. “10+ hrs of trauma in this appalling situation. Complaints met with generic response. Unacceptable hygiene standards”.
Anmol not only shared a video of the mess but also a photo of a sink in one of the lavatories, which appeared to be full to the brim with raw sewage.
As reported by View From a Wing, a spokesperson for American Airlines said that a clogged toilet had caused what the Fort Worth-based carrier described as a “small leak”.
The spokesperson noted that customers who have written in to complain have been compensated for what they endured.
Despite the mess, the aircraft managed to unclog the toilet and get the cabin cleaned up in time for the airplane to be pushed back into service just 12 hours later for a quick overnight flight to London Heathrow.
Although far from ideal, the pilots of Flight 293 would have had a difficult choice to make in deciding to continue flying to New York JFK rather than diverting the plane for engineers to unclog the toilet.
With flight times from Delhi to New York JFK already extended due to the closure of Russian airspace to US carriers, the crew would already have been at the upper limit of their duty period and a diversion would have quickly tipped them over the edge.
If they had diverted, then the crew would likely ‘time out’, and the passengers would be stranded in a third country somewhere in the Caucasus. It was a pretty disgusting flight but it could have been much worse.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.