Aviation

Woman hilariously live-tweets ant-infested flight

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

A United Airlines flight became infested with unruly ants overnight, and one hero of a woman managed to live-tweet the whole ordeal.

Charlotte Burns, a New York-based art editor was travelling on a flight from Venice, Italy to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport when she made the creepy crawly discovery.

“On the plane from Venice to New York when a large, fat ant walks over my pillow. Hmmm. That’s odd,” she tweeted.

Burns shoots out a few more tweets noting further ant sightings until she decides to make matters known to the cabin crew.

“One over here, between the seats. I tell the staff: they ask if I can wait until after the plane takes off? We’re taxiing. Umm, ok, sure,” she said.

Things begin to escalate somewhat when the ants take it upon themselves to disrupt meal service. However, the cabin crew persevere.

“The nice lady is talking to me and pouring a drink when she shudders: she’s seen an ant, marching across the top of the seat in front. She calls her senior colleague. This is becoming *disruptive* (and in the old-fashioned way before tech people coopted the term),” Burns tweeted.

“Problem is, it’s time for the meal service. Would I mind waiting? Umm, ok sure.”

Soon the ordeal becomes too much for Burns and her fellow passengers who are verging on being outnumbered by the uninvited passengers.

“Until: all of a sudden. I mind. I mind very much. Here’s another bugger dashing—absolutely tearing it!—across the armrest. Where is this ant going? To an ant party? An ant union meeting about bad travel conditions?” Burns said.

What’s with the egg?! Find out here.

“For one, I’ve finished my book (“Less”—it’s really good). And, ofc, now the ant situation is officially a *situation*. The part of me that, you know, doesn’t want to be difficult or cause a fuss is being taken over by the part of me that really doesn’t like ants on aeroplanes.”

Burns joins forces with “middle-aged aisle guy” to take action, meanwhile the “senior cabin crew guy” shows up with a flashlight and a wet cloth.

“Sure, ant-mageddon might be undone with a lemony rag, why not,” Burns quipped.

Then the crew of unlikely heroes discover the source of the infestation.

“Middle aisle guy is ON IT: look in the overhead bins, he urges cabin guy. Cabin guy flashes the light and says, yeah, I can’t see anything. I saw PERHAPS TAKE THE BAGS OUT. He says I can’t, the guy who owns them is asleep,” Burns tweeted.

“The cabin guy does the flashlight thing again in the overhead locker and says, I can’t see anything. Me and middle aisle guy say please take the bags out and check beneath. He does. ANTS! Ants lie beneath.”

The owner of said bag opens it up and low and behold MORE ANTS spill out which the senior cabin crew member begins to pick off using “sterile lemon wipes”.

In the next development noted by Burns, she is approached by a cabin crew member who asks if she is going to do anything about the passenger who owns the bag.

“I said “huh?”. She says, “That guy: they came from his bag. They weren’t on the plane.” I said, you’re assuming that; you don’t know that. And, even if it were the case, shouldn’t there be some protocol for bugs on planes?” she Tweeted.

“‘She says “No, because it’s never happened before” I said: “The cabin crew guy told me this had happened once before in his career” “No, it hasn’t happened. And they came from that man’s bag. Not the plane.'”

United Airlines told Travel Weekly in a statement that it was concerned about the incident.

“We had been in contact with the crew during the flight, where they advised the ants were isolated from a customer’s bag in the overhead bin, and was contained to a limited area of the cabin.”

“The aeroplane landed at Newark this afternoon and has be taken out of service for extermination. We followed proper protocol by notifying customs, immigration, as well as agriculture of the issue.”

As for Burns, she wasn’t taking any chances of further infestation on her return home.

“I’m home and not taking any chances: the suitcase is going in the Zapp Bug oven which is a) a real thing b) like a large pizza bag but to overheat bugs not good and c) is the best way to kill bugs and we just happened to have it because of bed bugs.”

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