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Attack of bed bugs leaves passengers itching

October 27, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Watching TV is a pleasant enough way to spend an overnight flight, but pleasure turns to anxiety when you see a bed bug crawl out of a space near the TV, to be joined by another.

This happened an hour into an overnight flight to London, according to a vivid account in the Washington Post. The carrier was British Airways, which has experienced the occasional bed bug problem before.

The story said things got worse for the hapless passenger, because when she rang the bell to alert cabin crew, a flight attendant told her: “We don’t have anywhere to move you. I’m really sorry.”

Bed bug

The airline later apologised more fully to the woman, who reported “walking off the nine-hour flight from Vancouver covered in red welts”, as was her daughter and at least one other passenger.

“We have been in touch with our customer to apologise and investigate further,” the airline wrote in a statement to Canada’s CTV News channel. “British Airways operates more than 280,000 flights every year, and reports of bed bugs onboard are extremely rare.”

In September last year, a father was left “scarred and disgusted” after a mass attack of bed bugs on an international flight left him with more than 100 bites, according to British media.

On that occasion, the passenger told the Mirror Online he flew British Airways from Britain to Boston for a family holiday with his wife and two young children when the bed bugs struck without mercy.

He was eaten alive by bed bugs “and when we went to the beach they got infected and nasty”, leaving him with scarring.

A few months earlier, in March 2016, British Airways removed a plane from service after bed bugs were found aboard. Two of the parasitic insects, which feed on people’s blood, were found on the aircraft.

Bed bugs (sometimes known as bedbugs or bed-bugs, depending on your taste in punctuation) are parasitic insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood and cause an itchy rash. The common variety, Cimex lectularius, prefers to feed on human blood although other types of Cimex prey on the blood of specific animals.

Written by Peter Needham

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