Maybe it was the fish? After vomiting all over the rear of the aircraft so badly it could not be cleaned, a United Airlines flight diverted. But on the ground, the passenger refused to get off, saying he had made a full recovery. Should he have been allowed to continue his journey?
Man Creates Biohazard Onboard With Vomit, Forcing Diversion, But Then Refuses To Get Off Airplane (“I’m Fine”)
From Reddit, a passenger shared the following story which occurred on a United Airlines flight from Newark to San Francisco:
We were on a flight from NYC to SF, and an hour and 45 minutes in, a man threw up in the back of the plane, all over the walls. It was so bad they couldn’t clean it, six people had to move to new seats, and we were diverted to Chicago to have the plane cleaned. The flight attendants said it was a medical emergency and a biohazard that wasn’t safe for the crew or passengers.
It was frustrating to get delayed, but I am glad we diverted because it sounded like hell for the people in the back. But once we were there, the flight attendant said the man who was sick wasn’t getting off the plane, he said he was fine, and they couldn’t make him leave.
There was no turbulence; it was a completely smooth ride, so I am not sure he was sick because of motion sickness. Here’s what I am wondering: how was this man not asked to leave the plane? It was so much of a biohazard we diverted hundreds of people to Chicago, but the person who could easily get sick again stayed. He could have easily been contagious with norovirus, rorotivrus, coronavirus, the flu, or anything else. How is this not a risk to other passengers?
Airlines kick people off for refusing to sit in vomit-covered seats, like on Air Canada or another man, who was sagging his pants or another person who had a service animal.
Not only is this a risk to other passengers, but the man himself could be actually sick or delirious. I understand vomiting is semi-common, but I don’t think it’s normal for a grown man of sound health to vomit so horribly that a massive flight is diverted.
Is it true that they can’t ask someone to leave because of this? Even if their own health could be at risk as well as putting other passengers at risk?
This story makes me want to puke.
To answer the question, yes…United could have forced this passenger of the flight. It could have easily been justified on health and safety grounds. The passenger could have been told that he would need to rest in the gate area for a bit and would be reaccommodated on the next Chicago – San Francisco flight (a busy hub-to-hub route with many open seats).
Whether United should have forced him off is a bit difficult to answer without more context. I have experienced situations with food poisoning where a single purge was sufficient and I was indeed feeling quite fine after. But there have been other times where I vomit, think I am better, only to return to the can hours later.
But out of abundance of caution, I would have asked the passenger to leave. And if it were me who was sick, I’d certainly walk off the flight out of respect for my fellow passengers.
A man vomited onboard a United flight so severely that it prompted a diversion, then refused to get off the aircraft…and amazingly was allowed to remain onboard. While United probably should have removed him from the flight just in case, he should have removed himself from the flight even if he was feeling better at the moment.