Family: We Were 'Covered' in Bedbug Bites After Flight

British Airways says it is investigating
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2017 1:00 AM CDT
British Airways Apologizes to Bedbug-Bitten Family
British Airways has apologized to the family.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

British Airways has apologized to a family who say they had little option but to let the bedbugs bite on a flight from Vancouver to London earlier this month. Heather Szilagyi—a former hotel worker who knows a bedbug when she sees one—says she discreetly alerted a flight attendant when she spotted several of the insects early in the flight, but was told there wasn't much that could be done. "She was like, 'Oh ok, sorry about that. We're sold out. We don't have anywhere to move you'," Szilagyi tells CTV. Szilagyi, who was traveling with her fiance and 7-year-old daughter, says she and her daughter eventually managed to sleep but were covered with bites by the time the plane arrived.

"Me and my daughter are both really sensitive to insect bites, so she was just covered just all over," Szilagyi says. "I've still got a really infected one." She says she tried to contact the airline—not for a refund, but to ensure they were on a bedbug-free aircraft for the flight home—and resorted to posting photos of the bites on Twitter after being unable to speak with a representative. British Airways then apologized to the family and offered them business class seats for the journey home, the BBC reports. "British Airways operates more than 280,000 flights every year, and reports of bed bugs on board are extremely rare," the airline said in a statement. "Nevertheless, we are vigilant and continually monitor our aircraft. (Researchers have tips to help travelers avoid bedbugs.)

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