Delta flight forced to turn around after maggots rain down on passengers

Maggots raining from an overhead compartment forced a Delta Air Lines flight to turn around. Rotting fish was discovered in a passenger's carryon luggage. Getty Images

Airline travel can be a nightmare on a good day, but when maggots start raining on you from the overhead compartment you know you’ve hit the bad travel jackpot.

That was the case on a Delta Air Lines flight this week, when passengers were showered with falling maggots after a fellow traveller decided it would be a good idea to transport rotting fish in carry-on luggage.

The plane, headed to Detroit from Amsterdam on Tuesday, was forced to turn around about an hour into the flight when two passengers became the unwitting victims of the falling larvae.

Passenger Philip Schotte, a Netherlands native who lives in Iowa, told Detroit’s WJBK he was sitting near the woman who bore the brunt of the disgusting stowaways and witnessed about a dozen fall on her.

Story continues below advertisement

“She was freaking out. She was just trying to kind of fight off these maggots. … I don’t really know what was going through my mind. I was trying to process it — disgust is one thing of course. We had to wait there for help to actually come,” Schotte told the station.

The flight crew traced the maggots to a bag in the overhead bin, which contained rotten fish wrapped in newspaper.

“They found out that there was a rotten fish in there,” Schotte continued. “I did see everyone’s reaction to the bag being opened, which was just an immediate pinching of the nose.”

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

While the flight crew took the putrid piece of carry-on to the back of the plane, the pilot told passengers they would turn around.

Story continues below advertisement

In a statement, Delta said: “We apologize to the customers of flight 133 AMS-DTW as their trip was interrupted due to an improperly packed carry-on bag.

“The aircraft returned to the gate and passengers were placed on the next available flight. The aircraft was removed from service for cleaning,” it added.

According to The Guardian, another passenger named Kelce tweeted about the incident in a since-deleted post: “Really lovely to be 2 hours into an 8 hour @Delta to Amsterdam and find out there is rotten fish and maggots hitching a ride with us.”

The passenger said they and others on the plane were given 8,000 free air miles, hotel room compensation and a $30 meal ticket for the inconvenience.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time maggots have fallen out of an overhead bin onto passengers below.

In July of 2010, a U.S. Airways flight out of Atlanta was forced back to the gate when a flight attendant opened an overhead storage compartment and discovered spoiled meat.

“We were ordered to sit in our seats as maggots were dripping on us,” a passenger told ABC News at the time. “It was only five to seven minutes, but it felt like 30 minutes.”

Story continues below advertisement

“I had to have other passengers check my hair and back of clothes to ensure maggots weren’t still on me,” another passenger recounted.

“I felt skeevy, disgusting. I felt trapped. I don’t know what the right decision would have been but it shouldn’t have been to force me to sit where there are maggots dripping on me,” she said. “It’s one thing when they are at the bottom of a garbage can, but when they are sitting on you, it’s so gross.”

Sponsored content