Kiwi couple demands refund from Qantas after 10-hour flight in urine

Photo courtesy of New York Post

In a stomach-churning revelation, a New Zealand couple successfully secured a refund from Qantas Airways, alleging they unwittingly spent a 10-hour flight submerged in a fellow passenger’s urine.

The revolting journey unfolded during a flight from Bangkok to Sydney, leaving the couple fuming and the airline scrambling for damage control.

A Qantas spokesperson provided a statement, acknowledging the disturbing incident that occurred on December 30.

“We have apologised to the customer and will be providing a refund as a gesture of goodwill.”

The harrowing ordeal began innocently enough, with one of the passengers placing belongings under the seat. Little did they know, this would mark the start of their bizarre, urine-soaked adventure.

The travellers, who wish to remain anonymous, shared their unsettling experience with the New Zealand Herald.

“Now we know that we have been sitting in urine for a 10-hour trip.”

The damp discovery unfolded when the passenger retrieved their Qantas pillow, only to find it wet, as were their duty-free bag, headphone case, and portable neck pillow, amounting to a US$70 (2,500 baht) loss.

Initially attributing the moisture to a spill, the couple stored some items overhead and sought the assistance of cabin crew to replace their soggy pillow. The truth, however, was far more nauseating. After several hours, one of the passengers reached under the seat, discovering a pair of children’s underwear. The alleged water was, in fact, urine, and they had unwittingly spent the entire flight immersed in it.

Compensation sought

Horrified by the revelation, the passengers discarded the allegedly tainted travel pillow and the duty-free bag upon landing. Seeking compensation, they approached an airline supervisor, who offered a paltry 10,000 Qantas points. Deeming this inadequate for the biohazard waste ordeal, the couple pressed further.

Their request for a refund was initially denied due to the fully utilised ticket, leading them to demand US$3,827 – the cost of the Bangkok-Sydney leg of their ill-fated journey, reported the New York Post.

Qantas initially resisted, citing the ticket’s full utilisation in an email sent on January 10. The couple, finding this response simply unacceptable, persisted. After several rounds of negotiations, Qantas eventually capitulated, issuing a full reimbursement and an apology for the appalling ordeal.

In response to the incident, airline representatives issued a statement.

“We are looking into what has occurred and have raised the issue with our cleaning supplier in Bangkok, which cleaned the aircraft prior to departure.”

Aviation NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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