From Delhi to Disgust: 17-Hour American Airlines Flight Fills With Sewage

The longest American Airlines flight became a biohazard on Monday when lavatories began overflowing with sewage, pouring out into the cabin.

American Airlines flight 293 from Delhi to New York JFK kept flying this way for “10+ hours” of the 17-hour flight after “4 lavatories flooded with sewage.” It appears that crew used Casper blankets to cover up the mess in the aisle. Video shows the refugee camp that the cabin had become, and a photo shows a lavatory sink filled with poo water.

I’m sure passengers were grateful to arrive 26 minutes early in New York!

An American Airlines spokesperson tells me that there was a “small leak” on the Boeing 777 coming from Delhi, stemming from a clogged toilet. They “cleaned up the mess” at New York JFK and the plane is back in service. “Customers who wrote in were compensated” for the inconvenience. My takeaway is that some passenger probably flushed a diaper.

Back in September, a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Barcelona had to turn around after a passenger let loose diarrhea all the way through the aircraft.

Passengers returned to Atlanta and waited while Delta cleaned the aircraft and found a new crew. They were sent on their way using the same plane a few hours later. Video showed the inside of the aircraft.

A month later, an American Airlines passenger pooped in the aisle.

I guess I also want to know, why does it seem like sewage in the aisle is happening all of a sudden?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Boy, Air India is starting to look better by the day.
    Of course one cannot enforce random diaper dumping into an airplane.
    Bet it belonged to an adult.
    American should impose a diaper disposal fee. For everyone’s sake.

  2. Sh!tty flight comments aside, dumb people try to flush items other than TP and their waste down an airplane toilet, even though there are picture graphics all over the place saying not to. They don’t even have to READ to understand this. Yet anyone should have enough common sense to know better. . This is likely what happened. Hope they learned their lesson. I pity the passengers smart enough to know better.

  3. Was that on board catering that spilled over or sewage? I simply cant tell the difference with AA being a Premium world crass carrier

  4. Think of it as a little taste of Delhi, accompanying you home. American should be applauded for extending the experience.

  5. They may need to add toilet instructions to flights to and from India.

    Years ago I flew from India to Amsterdam (although could have been Paris) and the flight attendants told everyone that the toilet would break if anything except toilet paper went into the toilet. They also explained how to use the toilet

    I thought this was odd

    The passenger next to me, who appeared to be of South Asian ancestry, told me it was common for passengers to throw all sorts of things into the toilet. In addition he said that some passengers may have never seen a toilet like that.

    (This is no different than Americans needing to be shown how to use a bidet, a squat toilet, or Japanese toilet)

  6. “Customers who wrote in were compensated”, so the takeaway is if you experience something, say something. It doesn’t hurt to keep that in mind. My wife just got a credit from AA for a serious delay, but only after she wrote in.

  7. AA probably gave 2,500 miles as compensation. After all, anything (including a seat) is only “complimentary”.

  8. American Airlines – always in the news and not in a good way. Why anyone in their right mind would fly them is beyond comprehension. Are they affiliated with Boeing?

  9. I can’t make an excuse for the toilet but I’m pretty sure the sink was full of coffee. Airline sinks don’t drain to the waste tanks, they go out heated drains into the atmosphere. I’m doubting this picture is legit.

  10. Come on folks, you just flew on the wrong airplane – had you boarded a 373 MAX all the sewage and smelly shoes that stepped in it would have been sucked out via Boeing’s enhanced ventilation system.

  11. AA doesn’t care about working toilets. Just as long as the flight completes. It’s crap. No pun intended.
    Toilets don’t work under 16k feet? Nobody use the bathroom for 30 minutes.
    Sewage everywhere during a long haul? Just finish the flight or the crew goes illegal.
    I know the FAA doesn’t give a shit either but seriously do better FAA, AA, people who flush diapers down the toilet

  12. This is ridiculous. First of all, we don’t fly those type of planes to India. Second of all that’s coffee in the sink.

  13. The sinks are not in anyway connected to the toilets or the waste tanks. Someone probably pooped in the sink. I flew the JFK DEL trip many times. There was always some kind of drama on the flight due to the passengers. Scores of wheelchair pax, poop, medical issues, you name it.

    Gary, were you an FA for AA? You seem to dog on AA at every chance.

  14. It’s the same on AC flights from YYZ to DEL, the lavatories are just repugnant. Sorry but it’s the culture.

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