DALLAS – Continental Airlines Inc. is apologizing to its customers for "poor conditions" aboard a transatlantic flight where one passenger described sewage spilling down the aisle from a lavatory.
"I've never felt so offended in all my life," passenger Collin Brock of Washington state told Seattle's KING-TV. "I felt like I had been physically abused and neglected. I was forced to sit next to human excrement for seven hours."
Continental spokesman Dave Messing on Thursday confirmed that there had been a problem with the plane's lavatory during the flight.
Flight 71, with 168 passengers on board, had taken off June 13 from Amsterdam bound for Newark, N.J., but made an overnight stop in Shannon, Ireland, to fix the lavatory problem, Messing said.
He said everything appeared to have been fixed before the plane took off again for Newark the next day, renamed Flight 1970, but then "the problem developed again."
After the plane landed in Newark, airline employees determined the problem was caused by someone flushing latex gloves down the toilet - despite signs that warn not to discard foreign objects into the system, Messing said.
"We deeply regret the serious inconvenience to our customers and are apologizing to them and compensating them for the poor conditions on the flight as well as the diversion and delay," he wrote in a statement from the Houston-based carrier.
Continental is compensating passengers with travel vouchers, Messing said. He declined to say how much the vouchers were worth.
Brock told KING-TV he was offered a $500 voucher. He said he wasn't sure he would ever use it.