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Woman Says British Airways Made Her Daughter Sit In Urine-Soiled Seat For Hours

By Sharelle Burt

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A mother-daughter trip was ruined after the daughter was allegedly forced to sit in a seat soiled in urine on a British Airways flight.

Traveling from Rome back to Boston Logan International Airport, Ann Fretts had to give up their seats for a VIP customer. Fretts said the new seat offered by British Airways was filled with urine. “My daughter’s seat was unusable as it was covered in urine which was all over the seat, floor, and wall,” Fretts said. “There was a really bad smell of it, too.”

She said she told the staff and they admitted the claim. To help, the crew covered the seat with blankets, but the smell was still unbearable. Fretts requested that professionals clean the seat but the flight attendant told her it would delay the flight. Instead, they sprayed the seat with some odor spray, but Fretts said it irritated her nose and throat.

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The seven-hour flight got even worse as flight attendants told passengers that red wine was spilled on the in-flight entertainment system, making it useless. “There were sparks coming out of and there was static when the headphones were plugged in – and no sound came out of the headphones,” Fretts said. “My daughter is an anxious flyer and would have liked the distraction of being able to watch a film, but she wasn’t able to.”

Fretts was already fed up with British Airways. On the first part of their flight, from Rome to Heathrow, the mother-daughter team were unbooked from the reserved seats they paid extra for and moved to seats they wanted to avoid. “We had paid an extra $168 to reserve the seats wanted on top of the cost of the flights,” Fretts said. “But when we got on the plane, our seats had been unbooked and we were instead put into middle and window seats that we had paid to avoid. We were told by staff to sit there, or get off the plane.”


After calling the airline for a refund, Fretts said they only received the $168. British Airways also offered Fretts 10,000 miles, but she refused, wanting her full refund instead. In a statement, British Airways said: “Our crew provided the customer with the same seat type, in another part of the cabin, due to a small stain on the carpet near her. We have apologized and remain in touch with our customer, and have made a generous offer as a goodwill gesture.”

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