An American Airlines passenger captured national attention after he sat down on a seat drenched with urine on Jan. 12.
On a flight from Missouri to Iowa, Mike Feinberg, a medical supplies company sales representative, recalls feeling uncomfortable in his first-class seat, WHO-TV reports.
“What is this feeling?” he remembers asking himself. “Oh, I’m wet.”
"I turn to the gentleman next to me ... and I go, 'Is your seat wet?' And he goes, 'No.' And I said, 'Mine is,'” Feinberg said.
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After sitting there for an hour with his pants soaked, it dawned on him what it was.
"So, I just kind of reach down between my seat to see what's going on, and I go, 'It's urine,’” he said.
When he informed the flight attendant about the issue, she "looked at me like that's terrible, but what do you want me to do about it."
The attendant also told him an elderly passenger may have been the one who urinated on the seat.
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American Airlines offered the man a shower, a change of clothes, as well as blankets and a plastic bag to sit on. It also gave him a $200 coupon for a future flight.
"Our aircraft cleaners are trained to look for visible items like trash left on the seats, floor and seatback pockets,” an American Airlines representative said. “We regret that the cleaners did not detect that this particular seat was wet. If our customer service agents or flight crew had been notified before the flight, we would have removed the affected seat cushion and replaced it with a new, clean one."
Feinberg was insulted by the airline's attempts at compensation. He explained the real issue for him are potential health problems from not cleaning up a potential biohazard.
"I don't know who was sitting there before. He could have been the nicest guy in the world, but could have hepatitis B, hepatitis C, could have had Ebola. I don't know what the guy had,” he said.
“Biohazard is not a privacy issue. It’s a policy. It’s a procedure,” Feinberg added when the airline refused to provide details regarding its biohazard policy.
Examiner.com reports American Airlines later refunded his flight, increased his compensation to $1,000 and paid for his $500 suit after the man turned to social media and news outlets to complain.