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Detroit-Bound Delta Air Lines Flight Returns to Amsterdam After Maggots Fall on Passengers From Overhead Bin

Detroit-Bound Delta Air Lines Flight Returns to Amsterdam After Maggots Fall on Passengers From Overhead Bin

BY HADI AHMAD February 15, 2024 0 COMMENTS

A Delta Air Lines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was forced to turn back due to an unusual mishap: maggots falling onto passengers.


The aircraft involved in the incident, with registration N821NW | Photo: Daniel Mena | AeroXplorer


Maggots on a Plane


Delta Air Lines Flight 133 (DL 133) is a daily service operated between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) using an Airbus A330-300. On February 13, DL 133 departed Amsterdam as normal using a 16-year-old aircraft with registration N821NW.


However, a suitcase in one of the overhead bins broke open approximately an hour into the flight. This suitcase did not have ordinary items inside: it was full of rotten fish. Shortly after the suitcase broke open, unfortunate passengers reported that maggots in a bag of rotten fish began falling onto them. One user on Reddit reported that they were seated in the row directly in front of the one where the maggots fell.




The user noted that the lady behind them told the flight attendant that maggots were falling on her head. This individual saw the maggots as they were "wiggling around on the seat." The rotten fish was reportedly wrapped in newspaper. It is currently unknown what quantity of fish would have been heavy enough to cause the suitcase to burst open.


Photo: Jack Logue | AeroXplorer


Diversion and Aftermath


Data from Flightradar24 shows that the flight had entered British airspace when the incident occurred. The situation forced the flight to turn around above northern England and return to Amsterdam. DL133 landed safely in Amsterdam shortly after noon local time. Unfortunately for the passengers, the tower cleared the flight to land on the infamous "Polderbaan." 




This runway, 18R/36L, is the furthest runway from the terminals at Schiphol at five kilometers (3.1 miles). The aircraft eventually docked at Schiphol's Gate D47, and most passengers disembarked. The individual who owned the infested suitcase was detained onboard after everyone had deplaned. The suitcase was put in a bag to be burned later while the aircraft was sidelined for deep cleaning. N821NW flew back to Detroit the following morning as DL 9893.


Delta Air Lines gave the flight's passengers 8,000 SkyMiles, hotel room compensation, and a $30 meal.


Photo: Dohwan Kim | AeroXplorer


A Delta representative said about the incident:


"We apologize to the customers of Flight 133 AMS-DTW as their trip was interrupted due to an improperly packed carry-on bag. The aircraft returned to the gate and passengers were placed on the next available flight. The aircraft was removed from service for cleaning."


Regarding edible perishable items, like fish, Delta says that such items are allowed onboard as part of carry-on baggage. This is provided that there is no violation of agricultural restrictions for the destination country. Delta's website also adds that the airline is not responsible for any perishable item that spoils or goes bad in transit. The motive behind carrying rotten fish on a flight is currently unknown.



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Hadi Ahmad
Lifelong aviation enthusiast raised in Central Illinois. 777 is the best plane BTW.

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