Skip to main content

Two New Zealand travellers have received a refund from Qantas after claiming their seats were wet with urine, according to a report in the NZ Herald.

The incident took place on the first leg of their journey back to New Zealand, flying between Bangkok and Sydney on December 30.

The travellers first noticed an issue after placing a pillow and other belongings on the floor of the aircraft under the seat in front of them.

When they picked the items back up they were, “wet and stained on one side”.

A bag of duty-free shopping, and a number of other items including a neck pillow also appeared wet.

The travellers assumed the liquid was water until later in the flight when they reached under the seat and found a pair of children’s underwear.

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

“And the travel neck pillow, well, I had been using that for the last couple of hours, under the assumption it was just a bit wet from water.”

The travellers spoke to crew on board who reportedly offered them 10,000 Qantas points as compensation. The couple said this was not appropriate as it didn’t “make up for the fact we were sitting in biohazard waste”.

In an email exchange with the airline, the couple were initially refused a refund for their travel as the tickets had been “fully utilised.”

The couple responded to Qantas saying they weren’t interested in points as they never wanted to fly on the airline again, pointing out that while the cleaners of the aircraft who failed to clean the mess may be contractors, Qantas was ultimately responsible for the condition of the aircraft.

“They are contracted through Qantas so it is your responsibility that you must own,” the couple said in a return email, as well as pointing out the massive profits recently reported by the airline.

When contacted by media about the incident, Qantas confirmed a refund had been offered.

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

While disappointed at the lengths it took to get a refund from the airline, the couple were “really happy” with the result.