Passenger Claims He Was Forced to Sit in Vomit-Covered Seat on United Flight


United Airlines

Flying coach is a less-than-glamorous experience, to say the least. It’s crowded and cramped, and the boarding process often gets chaotic with people pushing past to stow their carry-ons and squeeze into their seats. Expectations of comfort may be low, but everyone should at least be able to count on flying in a relatively clean, dry seat—right?

Not so on Sunday, August 17, 2019, when Sam Trail and his wife were preparing to fly from Vancouver back home to Houston aboard United Flight 2057.

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When they reached their assigned area, the couple found one of their seats, as well as the floor and the seatback in front of them, to be soaked in fresh vomit.

Trail told local news channel Click2Houston: “The seat in front of me was covered with vomit. They kept boarding the people and so we couldn’t move. We basically had our luggage in our laps trying to avoid contact with the vomit.”

Upon alerting crew members about the nauseating state of their seats, Trail found the staff to be less-than-helpful.

“I was told, ‘Oh, yeah, we can get a cleaning crew, but you’re going to be the reason this flight is delayed,’” Trail told interviewers.

He claims that a flight attendant simply handed him a wad of paper towels and indicated that he should clean the barf up himself. After he insisted, a cleaner came aboard briefly with a spray bottle and paper towel, but there was still residue left after the area had been “cleaned”.

The Trails were then, allegedly, forced to endure a nearly four-hour flight sitting in the damp remnants of someone else’s puke.

“There’s gotta be some limitations,” Trail remarked. “I mean you have to provide a sanitary environment and there should be an apology.”

United Airlines told The New York Post that Trail had not been forced to clean anything and that a cleaning crew had been called aboard to address the issue prior to takeoff. The airline also stated that it was unclear whether the mess in question had actually been vomit.

“We’re disappointed that this aircraft did not meet our standards for cleanliness. Once the issue was brought to our crew’s attention, cabin cleaners were called on board to clean the seat prior to departure. We have reached out to our customer to better understand what happened,” United said in a statement.