Bed Bugs Cause British Airways Passenger to Set Up Complaint Website

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A British Airways passenger who claims she was bitten by bed bugs on two separate British Airways flights in January and February 2011 has set up a website recounting her experience and asking other travelers to share their own creepy crawly stories.

The Daily Mail first wrote about Zane Selkirk, a 28-year-old product manager who says she first noticed the bed bugs on her finger and airline-provided blanket during the first leg of her trip from LA to Bangalore, which made a stopover at London's Heathrow Airport. Selkirk claims she saw bugs scattering away when she turned on her overhead light.

According to Selkirk, she rushed to the bathroom and was horrified to find red welts all over her body as well as additional bugs clinging to her shirt. Selkirk says there was blood splattered across her back from where she was bitten, as well as two crushed insects on her shoulder.

"I discovered bugs crawling literally all over me, multiple generations of bugs were found to be infesting my seat and headrest, and, to top it off, I was berated by the unapologetic purser," says Selkirk on her website, BA Bites.

Zelkirk says she alerted flight attendants of the problem, who then moved her and her seatmates from premium economy to business class for the rest of the journey to Bangalore -- but claims no one ever apologized for the bites.

Over the next week, Zelkirk says she carefully washed her clothes and inspected her suitcase in Bangalore. She says she had seven separate conversations with British Airlines representatives, but claims she was told "nobody had the authority to help customers."

To Zelkirk's horror, she claims she was bitten again by bed bugs during the first leg of the flight home from Bangalore to London.

"On the return journey, I left my 10-hour flight to find my body covered with 90 bug bites. The worst part was the nonexistent customer service throughout the 10-day ordeal."

Zelkirk says the British Airways staff in London did nothing to help or compensate her, and instead turned away both times she revealed bites on her lower back, saying "I cannot acknowledge that I have seen any issue here."

A spokeswoman from British Airways says the airline sent Zelkirk a written apology, and that a thorough investigation is underway.

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