An American Airlines passenger says they had to sit through an entire flight in a seat soaked with urine from a previous passenger, the Fort Wayne Observed blog reports. Here’s an excerpt of the complaint letter they emailed the airline:
Upon boarding this flight, my [spouse] was assigned seat 24E. Upon reaching the seat, the gentleman in seat 24F indicated that seat 24E was soaked and that it smelled badly. That kept [my spouse] from immediately sitting in the seat. In fact, the seat was soaked with urine. The flight attendant’s solution was to put a couple of blankets and a plastic bag on the seat. [Your passenger] literally sat in a urine soaked seat (the seat belt was soaked also) for the duration of this 2 hour flight! [There] was offered no compensation, no alternative seating, nothing.
… I believe that, at a minimum, we are entitled to a full refund of [my spouse's] ticket for that flight. Once the flight attendant was made aware of the situation, something should have been done. Seat cushions switched out, [offer of] another seat (except the plane was full), or…offered an alternative flight. I look forward to your quick resolution of this appalling situation.
This is what happens when crews are under the knife to turn over the airplane between flights with enough time for a thorough cleaning, or, in this case, the construction of a vacuum-sealed hazmat quarantine. The story is disgusting, and so is the crew’s indifference and jerry-rigged solution. The only thing I can remember that tops it is Continental Airlines flight 1970 from Amsterdam to New Jersey on Thursday, June 14, 2007, where the toilets overflowed and streamed down the aisles. And in December ’07, AirTran let a lady traveling to Boston sit in a seat that was similarly anointed. She got her airfare and the cost of her clothing refunded.
Personally, I would have refused to sit down and insisted on getting booked on the next flight. Still, that passenger definitely deserves a free ticket voucher and a hell of an apology.