Passenger Live Tweets About Her United Flight That Was Infested With Bugs – Your Mileage May Vary


United flight 169 was traveling from Venice to Newark earlier this week when a passenger began noticing a large quantity of large ants on board the plane.

Charlotte Burns, an editor based in New York, began live tweeting the incident as it happened…

Guy wakes up-and he’s wearing a SPIDERMAN eyemask, by the way, because @UnitedAirlines has obviously got some merch deal-and says very calmly for a guy who just got woken up about an ant infestation “ah yes, I saw one earlier”

– charlotte burns (@charlieburns) June 17, 2019

I said “huh?”. She says, “That guy: they came from his bag. They weren’t on the plane.”

I said, you’re assuming that; you don’t know that. And, even if it were the case, shouldn’t there be some protocol for bugs on planes?

– charlotte burns (@charlieburns) June 17, 2019

She says “No, because it’s never happened before”

I said: “The cabin crew guy told me this had happened once before in his career”

“No, it hasn’t happened. And they came from that man’s bag. Not the plane.”

– charlotte burns (@charlieburns) June 17, 2019

Which is all to say: @united – bugs happen! Deal with them! Don’t tell one passenger to blame another passenger for an inconvenienced flight with an abundance of household insects.

– charlotte burns (@charlieburns) June 17, 2019

I’m home and not taking any chances: the suitcase is going in the Zapp Bug oven which is a) a real thing b) like a large pizza bag but to overheat bugs not good and c) is the best way to kill bugs and we just happened to have it because of bed bugs.

– charlotte burns (@charlieburns) June 17, 2019

And I definitely got bit *shudders*

– charlotte burns (@charlieburns) June 17, 2019

United’s response during the event:

In a statement while the tweets were happening, a United spokesperson said: ‘ We are concerned by the experience our customer reported on United flight 169 from Venice to Newark. We have been in contact with the crew and they have advised the ants have been isolated from a customer’s bag. At this time, the aircraft will continue to its final destination. We will be taking the aircraft out of service when it arrives in Newark.’

Frankly, I don’t know if the ants truly came from the passenger’s bag or were on the plane itself. I also can’t tell if there were 20 ants and she was making a mountain out of an anthill (you see what I did there?), or if there were actually 200 or 2000 (in which case yes, it’s a problem). But I’m glad United is going to check the plane out.

If nothing else, it made for a good story. 😉

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