Passenger Horrified After Ants Crawl Out of Suitcase in Overhead Bin on Plane

The ants were coming from a passenger's bag.
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Charlotte Burns said she was flying from Italy to Newark, New Jersey, when she noticed several ants crawling near her.

A United passenger flying from Italy to Newark, New Jersey, said she was horrified when she realized a host of ants were on the plane with her too. 

Charlotte Burns said she had just settled into her seat on the plane when she noticed several ants crawling near her.

“On the plane from Venice to New York when a large, fat ant walks over my pillow. Hmmm. That's odd,” Burns wrote on her Twitter. “Minutes later, another fat little bug hurries over the television screen.”

She said after another appeared on her arm, she called an attendant and asked them to look around her seat, which they said they couldn’t do until after takeoff. Once they had taken off, Burns said the crew asked her if she’d mind waiting until after the meal service. 

“Umm, ok sure,” she wrote. “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 that eventually another passenger remarked that he’d seen a “parade” of ants coming from an overhead bin. It was then that a flight attended realized the infestation was coming from a passenger’s luggage, Burns said.

“The guy in front pulls down his case (which btw isn’t zipped shut, as middle aisle guy notes to me in an aside),” Burns said, “and ants ants ants spill out, running in every which direction.”

The owner of the baggage then began using tweezers to pick up the ants while a flight attendant tried to use lemon wipes to help get rid of them, according to Burns.

Burns added that the crew offered her “three types of white wine” after the unfortunate incident.

United later released a statement about the bug situation on the plane.

“We are concerned by the experience a customer reported on United flight 169 from Venice to Newark. 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 airplane was taken out of service for extermination when the flight landed, the airline added.