Delta flight makes U-turn over diarrhoea incident

A Delta flight sits on the tarmac in New York in May 2023 (FILE)
A Delta flight sits on the tarmac in New York in May 2023 (FILE)

A Delta flight from Atlanta to Barcelona was forced to turn around because of what the pilot says was a "biohazard issue" after a passenger had diarrhoea on board, media reports say.

Flight 194 was two hours into its journey on Friday evening when the pilot reportedly asked to head back.

In audio posted to X (formerly Twitter) he said a passenger had had diarrhoea "all the way through the airplane".

The plane was cleaned and flew to Barcelona the next day.

"We've had a passenger who's had diarrhoea all the way through the airplane, so they want us to come back to Atlanta," says the audio recording on X, allegedly from air traffic control.

In a statement to the Insider website, Delta confirmed there had been a "medical issue" on board which meant the plane had to return to Atlanta to be cleaned: "Delta Flight 194 from Atlanta to Barcelona returned to Atlanta following an onboard medical issue.

"Our teams worked as quickly and safely as possible to thoroughly clean the airplane and get our customers to their final destination. We sincerely apologise to our customers for the delay and inconvenience to their travel plans."

The incident comes after some 11 passengers and crew were hospitalised last week following severe turbulence on a Delta flight from Milan to Atlanta, the US-based airline said.