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A United plane had to be taken out of service and deep cleaned after dozens of passengers flying home from a cruise started throwing up

Pete Syme   

A United plane had to be taken out of service and deep cleaned after dozens of passengers flying home from a cruise started throwing up
  • United Airlines briefly grounded a jet after 30 passengers fell ill with symptoms such as vomiting.
  • The Boeing 737 Max was carrying dozens of passengers who were returning from a cruise.

A United Airlines plane had to be removed from service after dozens of passengers fell ill.

The Boeing 737 Max was carrying 163 passengers from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Houston on Friday.

About 75 people on board were returning from a cruise, and 30 of them fell ill, the Daily Mail reported.

The newspaper reported that their symptoms were flu-like, including vomiting and nausea.

In a statement shared with Business Insider, United confirmed that "several passengers who had been on the same cruise and did not feel well were on United Flight 1528."

The airline added that it was "actively coordinating with health authorities to address the situation."

It has not been confirmed which cruise ship the passengers came from.

Cruise Hive reported that only one was docked in Vancouver on Friday — Royal Caribbean International's Radiance of the Seas. The vessel experienced a norovirus outbreak in April.

Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider about whether Radiance of the Seas had experienced any cases of illness.

United told Business Insider its plane was temporarily removed from service for a deep cleaning "as a precautionary measure."

Data from Flightradar24 shows that two subsequent flights on Friday and Saturday, due to be operated by the same jet, were canceled. The plane did, however, depart Houston less than 24 hours after it landed.

Friday's incident was the second airline case of widespread illness within a month.

A Condor flight from Mauritius was met by emergency services as 70 passengers suffered nausea and vomiting. The airline said it was adjusting its cleaning processes as a result.

The most famous airline-vomiting incident occurred on a 1975 Japan Air Lines flight. One hundred and ninety-seven passengers fell ill, of whom 144 were taken to the hospital. It was later found that some of the meals had been contaminated by Staphylococcus bacteria, which caused food poisoning.

Correction: June 3, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the timing of the norovirus outbreak on the Radiance of the Seas. It was in April, not last month.



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