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Kansas City woman claims she was bitten by bugs during overseas flight

Posted: 7:39 PM, Sep 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-29 00:39:50Z
Woman says she was bitten by bugs during flight
Woman says she was bitten by bugs during flight
Woman says she was bitten by bugs during flight
Woman says she was bitten by bugs during flight

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local woman claims she was bitten by bugs on her flight during a trip overseas.

Anastasia Capps made her annual trip to England in mid-August on American Airlines.

"My vacation was fantastic," Capps said. "I had friends over there, just enjoying my time off."

Things took a ghastly turn during her transatlantic return trip. She said the service on the plane was fantastic, but with an hour left to go on the journey from London to Chicago she started to furiously scratch her leg.

"And so I go to the bathroom and then I noticed all the spots in the back of my leg," Capps said. 

Capps provided several photos to 41 Action News of what her legs and arms looked like when she landed.

"I've had flea bites in my life just cause I've grown up with pets," Capps said. "I've had mosquito bites. I've had spider bites. And I have never any bites like this."

She went to a doctor who gave her some medication for the itching and confirmed the bites were from a bug.

Capps believes they were bedbugs.

41 Action News sent the pictures to a specialist at the University of Kansas Health System who told us that "it is difficult to confirm bed bug infestations with bites alone because everyone reacts differently."

Jeffrey Preece owns Zip Zap Termite & Pest control.

"It would be very very difficult for us to determine what actually bit unless we had a specimen. If she specifically saw something bite her and brought that to us then we can conclude, yes that would be the bite," Preece said.

Preece added bedbugs, known as the greatest hitchhikers, would survive a pressurized cabin.

"If there was a bedbug there, it could then crawl up to her around her knees or her arms or whatever feed on her and retreat back to the area that they feel safe and metabolize that blood again," Preece said.

Capps reached out to American Airlines over e-mail and on the phone.

They sent her a $200 voucher, which the airline told 41 Action News was "a gesture of goodwill."

In a statement a spokesperson wrote:

"All of our aircraft are thoroughly cleaned, even more so between international flights. No other customers on her flight contacted us about any issues or concerns. The aircraft she flew on also flew that same evening from Chicago to Barcelona; no customer complaints were received."

Despite the issues, Capps still plans to return to England.

"I'll definitely be returning, but just with just a different airline," Capps said.