Nothing will put the dampeners on your fancy business class upgrade like, well, getting damp. This week, one woman was subject to such an experience while aboard an Emirates flight from Dubai to Sydney after an inebriated customer quite literally rained on her parade.
They say that flying first class is a lot more stressful than flying business, but one woman has had an unfortunate experience that might put that thesis to the test. Despite a recent slew of newly refurbished, cutting-edge Business cabins from big carriers like Etihad and SWISS, it seems that there’s still plenty of scope for a less-than-luxury experience.
The unfortunate passenger, who understandably wishes to remain anonymous, found herself ensconced in the eye of a urine-soaked storm that was initiated by a particularly rowdy group of individuals seated at the rear of the Airbus A380 cabin.
Among the group was a predictably inebriated male passenger who, after mistaking her seat for his own, stumbled drunkenly in her direction during the flight. This precipitated a string of unfortunate and unsettling events that would be enough to put anyone off their mile-high breakfast…
WATCH: things don’t always go to plan in first class either…
According to the affected passenger, her travel companion initially managed to shepherd the intoxicated man back to his assigned seat… Only for him to return not just once but twice after being escorted away by a called-upon crew member.
Sadly, this wasn’t the end of things. In fact, they took a marked turn for the worse when the man returned for a third time. Sidling up to the long-suffering woman once again, the man began to undo his trousers, intending to relieve himself and making quite the spectacle while doing so.
It was at this point, however, that the lady in question – along with the more scent-smart passengers in the wider cabin – realized that the man had already urinated over his own seat before making the journey down the aircraft to visit her once again. Charming.
The dismay only deepened when passengers realised that the offending man had, somehow, managed to make an additional stop en route, urinating for a second time without being noticed. It was at this point that the remainder of the business class passengers aboard the flight decided enough was enough.
Understandably shaken and annoyed in equal measure, the affected passenger summed up her experience by saying:
“This man completely ruined our business class journey, and I couldn’t sleep at all because I was terrified that if I closed my eyes, he would return and direct his actions toward me.”Anonymous Emirates passenger
Unsurprisingly, Emirates was quick to express its “disappointment” on learning of the passenger’s subpar experience. The airline’s customer affairs team promptly initiated direct contact with the passenger to try and make good. However, it may have been too little too late…
In the days since the flight, concerns have surfaced regarding the lack of immediate action taken by Emirates staff during the flight. Allegedly, the intoxicated passenger was not restrained, the flight was not diverted, nor did the crew seek assistance from law enforcement upon landing, effectively letting the offender off scot-free.
By way of an apology, Emirates provided the affected passenger with 60,000 Skywards miles, approximately half the cost of her upgrade. However, this gesture only came after an initial offer of 20,000 miles, which the passenger declined before engaging the media to shed light on the event.
Sadly, incidents such as this aren’t as rare as you might hope and certainly aren’t limited to Emirates planes alone. American Airlines, JetBlue, and United have all had to deal with similarly intentioned rogue passengers. The difference here is the repeat nature of the offence and (seemingly) the lack of effort made to restrain him.
Not only is this experience deeply unpleasant and unsanitary, but it’s also not the experience you expect after shelling out a considerable amount of your hard-earned dollars for the privilege of flying business. What’s more shocking, however, is Emirates’ alleged uselessness in both containing the passenger in the cabin and in rectifying the issue thereafter.
The lesson for Emirate’s PR team is this: if something goes wrong, deal with it quickly and make sure your plan of action is absolutely water-tight. Pun entirely intended.