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British Airways Bed Bugs Scandal

British Airways under fire over bed bugs

Feb 28, 2011

British Airways is under online fire from a passenger who says she was attacked by bed bugs on two international flights.

Zane Selkirk, from Los Angeles, published photos of what she said were bed bug bites she received after flying with the airline.

She also described BA's response to her complaints as "unhelpful and unfriendly", the Financial Times reported.

The 28-year-old said her first run in with the bugs was on a flight from LA to London on January 28 - the first leg of a trip to Bangalore, India - when she found insects on her fingers, blanket and upper body.

"There were at least four live ones on my shirt, another two crushed on my shoulder, and a blood stain on the back of my shirt where I must have leant back on a full-size [and full-stomached] one," she wrote.

She was moved to a business class seat but she said flight attendants helping her did not apologise.

On the return flight from Bangalore to London, she found dozens of red bites on her after leaving the plane. She said BA customer service staff told her they could not help.

Turning to the internet in frustration, Selkirk published the photos on her website,, which had more than 3300 views since she put it up Tuesday. She also publicised the site on Twitter.

She said she was not looking for compensation.

A BA spokeswoman said the airline wrote to Selkirk "to apologise for the problems she has described on her trip and reassure her that we take such reports seriously."

The airline said the plane was taken out of service to get rid of the bugs.

"The presence of bed bugs is an issue faced occasionally by hotels and airlines all over the world," the spokesperson said.

British Airways under fire over bed bugs
Zane Selkirk shows her body covered in bed bug bites / Image via


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