Passenger’s outrage over disgraceful airline seat

Allison Yee
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

They’re not the most comfortable seats to begin with, but one traveller was left aghast after being assigned a shell of a seat during a flight from Chicago to Ireland.

Matthew Madrigal shared a photo of his seat – which was completely missing a cushion and had exposed metal – to advocacy organisation Elliot, which he was forced to sit on during the seven-hour flight with Aer Lingus.

Matthew, who had shelled out nearly $900 for his round trip ticket, revealed how he alerted cabin crew to the state of his seat, but it didn’t make any difference.

Could you imagine sitting on this for a seven-hour flight?Photo:  Janet Madrigal via www.elliott.org

“The flight was two days previous to Saint Patrick’s Day, so naturally, the plane was full of intoxicated patrons,” Matthew told Elliot.

“I asked the flight attendant what was going on with my seat when we were boarding. She asked me to sit in it until everyone was aboard and settled.

“Soon after everyone was on, I asked the flight attendant again. She told me she would get back to me. She never did. Once we took off, I could see I had no other option but to sit in that seat.”

With Matthew making himself as comfortable as possible by putting some pillows down, he later received a $70 voucher as compensation, with claims by the airline that the complaint should have been made prior to take-off.

Matt claims the plane was boarding late so he took his seat so the flight could get underway. Photo: Getty

“Our maintenance crews regularly inspect aircraft to ensure onboard items such as seats, meal trays, entertainment systems, etc. are in working order,” the website reports Aer Lingus saying.

“While ground time may limit their ability to inspect every item, normally, guests experiencing difficulties in-flight on the previous sector would inform cabin crew who in turn would report such items to the maintenance teams and repair would be made prior to departure. A copy of your comments will be forwarded to our Head office in Dublin for their review and internal handling.”

When Aer Lingus was later contacted by Elliot and shown the photo of the seat, the airline then upped their compensation to a $680 voucher.


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