A man who forked over more than $1,000 for what should have been a comfortable flight from London to South America said, instead, he was forced to sit in a puddle of urine for 11 hours. Andrew Wilkinson, 39, said he noticed the stain and the unmistakable smell as soon as he sat down.
"I got to my seat and saw that there was a wet patch," he told Britain's LAD Bible in a story published Monday. "It was about the size of two decks of cards laid side by side. At first, I thought it was water but the smell was so distinct it could only have been urine."
Wilkinson said when he initially alerted a crew member to the stain, he was given wipes to clean it himself. He ended up sitting on a blanket for much of the flight. When he needed a fresh blanket to put beneath him, he said, the flight attendant was unhelpful in finding him a new one. Wilkinson also requested that his seat be moved.
"I was in economy and it was full but they could have bumped someone up from business to first class and freed up a seat that way," he told LAD Bible. "I said to the stewardess, 'You're obviously going to move me into business, aren't you? I can't really sit here.'"
Wilkinson's request was ultimately denied and he was stranded in the seat for the remainder of the flight. A photograph shared by Wilkinson showed the visible yellow spot on the plane's gray seat.
"She said she would see what she would do but I wasn't moved. And then she commented, 'You are going to work me hard on this flight, aren't you?'" he recalled. "So, I was left to sit in a urine-soaked seat for over 11 hours when I paid £1,242 for a return fight with BA [British Airways]."
Wilkinson took his formal complaint to British Airways and said he was unsatisfied with their response.
"I was given 5,000 Avios points," he said. "I just do not think that is good enough compensation for sitting in someone else's wee for over 11 hours."
The points awarded to Wilkinson are only enough for a one-way flight to Paris, according to LAD Bible.
"We were very concerned to hear about this and have been in touch with our customer to apologize and make amends," British Airways told International Business Times in a statement Monday. "The cleanliness of our aircraft is of the utmost importance to us and our planes are cleaned thoroughly after every flight. We also perform frequent spot checks to make sure our cleaners are maintaining our high standards."