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Delta flight forced back to Amsterdam after maggots fall onto passenger

By Forrest Brown, CNN

(CNN) — Wary airline passengers already on guard for unruly passengers and even real-life snakes on planes might have one more thing – however improbable – to add their slate of possible in-flight disruptions. And it’s an icky one:

Maggots.

Yep, those creepy creatures that thrive on fetid foods and waste have joined the pantheon of things that can cause a flight to change course and ruin travel plans.

On Tuesday, Delta Air Lines Flight 133 departed Amsterdam, Netherlands, bound for Detroit, Michigan. But one hour into the flight, the Airbus A330-300 had to turn back to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport after maggots reportedly fell onto a passenger from an overhead bin, according to Detroit TV station FOX 2 (WJBK).

The station interviewed passenger Philip Schotte, a Netherlands native now living in Iowa, who said he saw about a dozen of the creatures on a woman sitting next to him.

“She was freaking out. She was just trying to kind of fight off these maggots. … I don’t really know what was going through my mind.  I was trying to process it – disgust is one thing of course. We had to wait there for help to actually come,” Schotte told the station.

Schotte said the flight crew eventually traced the maggots to a passenger’s bag, which contained rotten fish wrapped in newspaper. He told the station that the bag was moved to the back of the plane, and it was announced the plane was going back to Amsterdam.

Schotte told FOX 2 that he took another flight to the US a few hours later.

CNN has not independently verified the details of Schotte’s account.

Data from flight tracking website FlightAware shows Flight 133 spent  just one hour and 49 minutes in the air.

Delta Air Lines confirmed to CNN that the flight had to turn around but did not address questions specifically about the maggots.

“We apologize to the customers of Flight 133 AMS-DTW as their trip was interrupted due to an improperly packed carry-on bag,” Delta Airlines said in statement sent to CNN Travel. “The aircraft returned to the gate and passengers were placed on the next available flight. The aircraft was removed from service for cleaning.”

Delta has no prohibitions on bringing aboard perishable food items, including fish, as long as there is “no violation of agricultural restrictions for the destination country,” according to its website.

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