Maggots falling from an overhead luggage locker have forced a US Airways flight to return to the gate at Atlanta airport.
"Bugs just began to fall out of the overhead compartment" causing panic on board, passenger Desiree Harrell was quoted as saying by Associated Press.
All the passengers were then asked to get off so crews could clean the plane.
The airline said a container of spoiled meat brought on by a passenger caused the delay of the flight to Charlotte.
It said that after landing in North Carolina, the plane was taken out of service and fumigated.
Donna Adamo, a passenger on board flight 1537, said she first noticed a couple of flies when she got to her seat on Monday but did not pay much attention to that.
As the plane was taxiing, she said she heard a passenger behind her causing a commotion and refusing to take her seat.
"Then I heard the word 'maggot' and that kind of got everybody creeped out," Ms Adamo told AP.
"All of a sudden, I felt somebody flick the back of my hair and on the front of me came a maggot, which I flicked off me.
But she said she "felt like they were crawling all over me because it only takes one maggot to upset your world".
"And as they're telling us to stay calm and seated, I see a maggot looking back at me and I'm thinking, 'These are anaerobic, flesh-eating larvae that the flight attendants don't have to sit with.'"
Ms Adamo said the pilot then announced that he had to return to the gate because of a "minor emergency on board".
The plane was cleaned and then continued on to Charlotte.
However, the unnamed passenger who brought the spoiled meat in a carry-on bag was put on another flight, US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher said.
It was not immediately clear how the passenger managed to take the meat on board.