American Airlines Complaint - Urine Soaked Passenger Seat
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- On May 15 2008, my spouse and I boarded AA flight 1295 from St. Louis to Dallas/Fort Worth. The trip was a combination of business and pleasure.
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. My spouse literally sat in a urine soaked seat (the seat belt was soaked also) for the duration of this 2 hour flight! There was no offer of alternatives, such as alternative seating, nothing. Unfortunately, I wasn't sitting with my spouse, or I would have raised a "stink" right then and there (I'm the not so shy person in the family and the more seasoned traveler, as I frequently travel for business). I learned that the seat was urine soaked when we deplaned. Once the flight attendant was made aware of the situation, something should have been done. Seat cushions switched out, my spouse offered another seat (except the plane was full), or my spouse offered an alternative flight.
I filed a complaint with AA Customer Relations and asked for a full refund of my spouse's airfare. Their response was to provide us with a $100 voucher to be used to defray the costs of a future ticket.
A second complaint, sent directly to AA's President & CEO ,was also responded to by Customer Relations. In this case, they made it clear that they weren't obligated to do anything and that they felt the voucher was adequate "compensation" for inadequate service.
The day before we received the second response, I took my spouse to the urgent care center to address an infection that developed over the weekend. The doctor speculated that the particular infection was more than likely caused by elements in the urine on that plane seat. I'm incredulous that American saw this only as "inadequate service" and not as a risk of health and safety.
Naturally, I will be looking for alternatives to American for future business and personal flights.