HolidayTravelWatch has received a second report from holidaymakers about a serious aircraft cabin smoke/fume event on-board a BHAir Airbus A320 aircraft. This follows on from our earlier press release detailing the experiences of 15 air passengers on-board another BHAir flight on a flight from Bourgas Airport in Bulgaria to Manchester on 13 June 2014.
The most recent complaint involves a flight from Bourgas Airport to Manchester on 14 June 2014 on Flight Number BGH5529; complaints include:
- Passengers being advised of a delay to their return flight;
- They observed that the aircraft they believed would be taking them back to Manchester being 'worked on';
- They believe that the aircraft was taken on a short test-flight before they were asked to embark;
- When they went on-board they describe the temperature as 'baking hot' with no air conditioning working;
- As the aircraft started to take off smoke/fumes started to 'billow' into the cabin from the front right-hand side of the aircraft;
- Passengers started to panic with many of them shouting out 'smoke-smoke';
- Passengers reported suffering with stinging eyes, burning in their nasal passages and that their throats were hurting;
- They report that people were crying, including children and they describe what appeared to be 'mass panic';
- Passengers were reported to be shouting at the crew to take action;
- The crew started to pass amongst the passengers administering water soaked napkins;
- The cabin crew were also observed to be overcome with the same physical problems as passengers;
- The pilot is alleged to have stated to the passengers that what was happening was 'in his opinion', normal and that he would continue with the flight;
- Passengers continued to demand action and to return to the ground;
- The passengers then experienced a 'bang' along with the aircraft shuddering and the aircraft dropping height;
- Passengers reported to us that they thought that they were going to die;
- Emergency lighting appeared;
- The aircraft apparently landed 45 to 60 minutes after their take-off;
- On taxiing, passengers rushed to the exits asking the crew to open the doors to let fresh into the cabin - the crew refused for safety reasons.
For many years, HolidayTravelWatch has campaigned for a 'Passenger's Right to Know' following a contaminated cabin air event; the following demonstrates why this is not only important but necessary; passengers have reported that:
- On arrival in the terminal, they observed that passengers were overcome with their exposure and were very upset;
- One passenger reports tht they had to ask for medical assistance from airline representatives - nothing was offered;
- Some passengers started to recover whereas others continued with the same symptoms they had gained whilst on-board the aircraft;
- People were very angry what had happened to them and it was observed that security was brought into their holding area;
- One passenger reports that she managed to get hold of some eye drops to treat her eyes;
- It is also reported that they were only offered crisps and water for refreshments;
- No information was given to the passengers as to what had happened or what they had been exposed to or indeed how to deal with medical issues upon their return to the UK.
In our previous press release we called on various bodies to provide answers to that exposure; we again repeat that call:
"HolidayTravelWatch invites Airbus & Mr Leahy, The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), BHAir (Flight Number BGH 5529), the Bulgarian Civil Aviation Administration & the UK CAA to reflect on the experiences of these Air Passengers and provide them and other passengers on this flight with answers as to:
- What happened on this flight?
- Full information as to the actual and potential toxins they were exposed to?
- What steps are being taken to protect Air Passengers in bleed-air aircraft from the risks of exposure?"
Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayTravelWatch states:
"I note that those that I have previously called upon to provide answers to this Organisation and passengers have failed to do so; presumably it is because they do not want to have an open conversation about these serious issues?"
"The passengers on Flight BGH5529 deserve to be treated with respect, so for their sake, I hope that the airline, manufacuturers and authorities will now contact each passenger and provide a full explanation of what happened, what they were exposed to and what medical help they should seek!"
"As I have previously stated, I am heavily involved in the debate on cabin air quality, but having seen correspondence from various parties, including scientists, I think it is incumbent on all these 'professionals' to take a long hard look at what is going on and engage intelligently! As for any passenger who has experienced a cabin air fume event, particularly from this flight, I would encourage them to contact me on 03450179229, where they will receive free guidance and assistance on this serious issue!"