British Airways Passenger Assigned Urine-Soaked Seat, Told to Clean It Himself

A British Airways flight once literally had to divert because a passenger’s lavatory trip created such a bad smell. But what happens when a British Airways passenger doesn’t make it to the lavatory?

One British Airways passenger flying London – Cape Town was assigned a seat in economy that he discovered was wet. He reports that a flight attendant agreed with him that the moisture was urine. She “handed him wet wipes to clear up the mess himself.”

‘I called the stewardess who agreed the dampness was urine. She went to the toilet and came back with some wipes and expected me to clean up the mess myself.

‘I told her, “I can’t sit here” but she just laughed. Her response was, “I can see you are going to work me really hard on this flight, aren’t you?”‘

…’In the end, I put a plastic bag over the seat and covered it with a blanket.’

British Airways London Heathrow – Capetown is Served by a Boeing 747

The man complained to British Airways and was offered 5000 Avios as compensation for an 11 hour 30 minute flight on top of plastic on top of moisture.

He said he ‘wanted a real apology’ but apparently didn’t get that, however BA upped its compensation offer to “a flight voucher worth £435, or a free upgrade on his next flight to Cape Town.”

British Airways staff have been asked to stop urinating in the cargo holds of their aircraft. However when it comes to seats, that’s usually other passengers. Most passengers don’t know this but you can usually use the lavatory even when flight attendants tell you to keep your seats.

Last year alone:

Legacy US Airways Airbus A321 Economy — Right Next to the Lavatory

A union representative claims the British Airways seat incident is about cost cutting and not paying cabin crew enough,

‘The Cape Town route is staffed by cabin crew who earn a pittance and have been taking industrial action. This passenger’s experience suggests the service is being hit.’

It seems like a flight attendant union rep says flight attendants will provide poor service unless they’re paid more. There’s a reason British Airways customers are better off when cabin crew go on strike.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Recently on a BA intra-Europe flight during the strike and BA substituted a Qatar Airways plane and crew so 1) we received a decent First Class seat over what we were expecting and 2) fantastic service from the flight attendants. The only downside was we are still wondering exactly what the appetizer was that they placed before us!

  2. The response from the union is remarkable. Basically stating that the crew have rights to say to passenger, “screw you, im suffering because my salary is small, so you have to suffer to!”

  3. Amazing what makes the news headlines these days with airlines! This had happened to me before (won’t mention the airline) and the FAs were nice about it but also gave me wipes to clean it as there were no more seats. I didn’t think about complaining about it to the Daily Mail…

  4. Brings new meaning to the phrase “Boarding Group Number 1”. Just make sure you pay for priority boarding — Group Number 2 is even worse.

  5. Why would you accept that seat no matter if plastic bag or not? I would never have. Besides disgusting, it’s unsanitary and possibly dangerous. Do we not know the perils of bodily fluids?

  6. It really is simple:

    1. Highlight the problem to the Cabin Crew and request to be relocated,

    2. If no alternative seat is forthcoming, request to be off-loaded, including your luggage and put on the next available flight.

    Putting the airline in a position where they could face a possible hefty delay to a 12 hour flight is the best incentive to get a swift and satisfactory response to a nasty and completely unacceptable situation.

  7. I have encountered a similar seat in the past. The United attendant had maintenance swap out the seat cushion. A pretty simple task – but that was over 10 years ago….

  8. “Ding. Ding…. The captain has turned on the ‘No pissing or pooping’ light.’

    Please refrain from offloading your in-body walk-on items until the aircraft has come to a complete stop at the gate.

    Once inside the terminal, follow your nose and turn left at the sushi station and raw bar.

    We promise you that your ‘holding’ time will be as brief as possible!”

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