An American Airlines passenger has been left traumatised after a horror five days of complications culminated in finding a dead rat inside her baggage.
Merry Cannon, from Arkansas, US, was travelling with her husband and two young children through Europe in March when her nightmare began to unravel.
Their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield, meaning they missed their connection flight in Chicago.
After eventually making it to Chicago, they were told their seats had been “given up”. They weren’t able to fly until 10pm the next day, resulting in changed travel plans and cutting out their planned visit to Germany.
Instead, they were forced to fly to Belgium and drive to France in order to fulfill her husband’s work commitments. To make matters worse, the airline allegedly lost the family’s luggage.
Five days later, and the day before they were due to fly home, they were eventually reunited with their missing luggage.
But Ms Cannon was horrified to discover a strong stench was coming from her bags. After a closer inspection following a complaint to American Airlines, she was left in disbelief.
“When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous. I began to wash the clothes. I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide,” the 36-year-old told News Corp.
When sorting out her baggage, she lifted a pile of clothes to discover a dead rodent inside.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life. I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms,” she revealed.
A stunned Ms Cannon rang the airline to share her shocking discovery and was told to write her complaint down which would then be dealt with in two to three days.
The mother refused to touch any of her baggage, with the American Airlines employee telling her that not knowing where the rat had come from, her biggest concern would be “the plague”.
After being told her bags would be collected and destroyed, Ms Cannon, who was promised she’d be compensated for the whole ordeal, sat and waited.
But after email after email, Ms Cannon claims she didn’t receive a response for over a month.
She says she was eventually offered $2100 by the airline, citing that it was the maximum international payout. Yet Ms Cannon says the contents of her bag totalled over $4000.
I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced. To me it’s not so much the money, it’s the lack of respect they have. That customers are disposable and they are big enough that they just don’t care. They don’t have to make things right.”
Yahoo7 News has contacted American Airlines for comment.