Continental Apologizes for Overflowing Toilet, Sewage-Filled Aisles

Passengers who endured a two-day trans-Atlantic odyssey with sewage overflowing from a jet's lavatories are getting an apology from Continental Airlines for the "poor conditions."

Flight 71, with 168 customers on board, took off June 13 from Amsterdam bound for Newark, N.J., but only got as far as Shannon, Ireland, because of a problem with the lavatory.

The flight resumed the next day after repair work seemed to restore smooth flow in the lavatory system, a Continental spokesman said Thursday. But during the flight from Shannon to Newark, renamed Flight 1970, "the problem developed again," spokesman Dave Messing said.

When the plane landed in Newark, he said, it was determined that the blockage was caused by someone flushing latex gloves down the toilet.

There are signs above the toilet that warn against flushing foreign objects.

"Occasionally these instructions are overlooked," he said.

A passenger told Seattle television station KING that sewage flowed into the aisles, only one restroom was partially working, and flight attendants kept serving meals but told passengers not to eat much.