Delta Air Lines officials say the company has reached out to a passenger who encountered a feces-laden mess left behind by an “ill” service dog. Although the carrier has offered to reimburse the customer for dry cleaning and new shoes, in this case, the unamused victim says the way he was treated by cabin crew members was much worse than the icky discovery during boarding.
Delta Airlines has confirmed that a passenger on a Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Miami International Airport (MIA)-bound flight earlier this month learned too late that the sticky mess covering a portion of the cabin floor and his seat was, in fact, dog feces. The airline has apologized for the incident, but the soiled traveler says flight attendants treated him worse than the substance that covered his shoes.
“It was feces, and it was everywhere,” passenger Mathew Meehan told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV. “It was on my seat. It was on the floor. My feet were in it … This is all I was given, two paper towels and one of those little bottles of Bombay Sapphire. I was in the bathroom cleaning feces off of the back of my legs, off of my shoes. I was wearing loafers unfortunately, so the feces was all over my bare ankles.”
As bad as the gag-inducing dog poop befoulment sounds, Meehan told reporters that it was the attitude of the cabin crew that left a lingering stain from the experience. He claims his request for a cleaning crew to address the issue was rudely rebuffed. Instead, he says he and other passengers had to make do with covering the offending fecal matter with a blanket.
“[The flight attendant] said to me, ‘Well, that’s not my problem.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry?’ She says, ‘Well, if the cleaning crew didn’t clean your seat, I don’t have any control over that.’ She said, ‘We’re only a couple minutes away [from departure] so you can either sit in your seat or you can not go home,’ and those were my options … I have never in my entire life felt more dehumanized. I felt like an animal. Words can’t even describe how awful it was, and they had so many opportunities to make it right.”
In a statement, Delta attributed the incident to a service animal that had become ill on a prior flight. According to officials, the aircraft has since been taken out of service for a thorough deep cleaning.
“Delta apologizes to customers impacted by the incident and has reached out to make it right, offering a refund and additional compensation,” an airline spokesperson said. “The safety and health of our customers and employees is our top priority, and we are conducting a full investigation while following up with the right teams to prevent this from happening again.”