US Airways tuberculosis scare on Phoenix flight: Passengers demand action after ordeal

PHOENIX - Passengers aboard a US Airways Express flight from Austin to Phoenix are demanding answers after finding out a man who might have tuberculosis was allowed on the plane.

Officials say the man was on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's "Do Not Board list."

So how did he end up on the flight? That's what passengers want to know.

"That the person had tuberculosis, that he was contagious and that all of us had been exposed during the flight."

Dean Davidson heard these words from a first responder when US Airways Flight 2846 landed at Sky Harbor Saturday.

"It didn't feel real at first, like this can't really be happening. And then it was a bit of a shock," said Davidson.

Now that it has settled in, the Flagstaff resident is left with many lingering questions.

"This needs to be investigated. Was it a systemic problem? Was there a flaw in the system or was this human error?"

Another passenger, who was traveling with his 11-year-old daughter also expressed concern. "When you're on a flight with your child and something like this happens. It's just ... you never want this to happen."

After the scare, they wish the airline had been more supportive during and after the ordeal.

"We just got nothing after the firefighter made this announcement. We deplaned and we were all totally on our own and I believe US. Airways could've handled it a little better," said Davidson.

Officials say the risk of passengers contracting TB on this flight are extremely low.

The absence of coughing by the man makes "it almost impossible to transmit TB to these passengers," says Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, the medical director of the disease control division of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health,

Sunenshine says they are supposed to have test results within a week on whether or not this man did indeed have tuberculosis.

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