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snapshot of the letter from seat 29E of Continental Airlines

Letter of complaint from seat 29E

Written in


Can you remember the last time you were sitting across the lavatory on one of your flights? How did it go for you?

Well, this particular man from the December 21, 2004 flight of Continental Airlines had complained about how “disgusted” he is with his situation in seat 29E.

He could have simply complained about it but what made this letter of complaint particularly entertaining was his ability to present it humorously. And I think we have forgotten to lament this way when disagreeable circumstances come our way. We’re becoming good at plainly presenting our requests and demands without convincing other people about what it really feels like to be in our situation.

I can’t help but chuckle the first time I heard about this, and it gave me an idea to share it with you.

snapshot of the letter from seat 29E of Continental Airlines
The “disgusted” passenger humorously wrote a complaint to Continental Airlines.

Check out the scanned pen-written letter here.

If you want to read the whole letter of complaint, here’s the transcript I got from Letters of Note:

FH#888/500 → HOUSTON

APR 13 2005

Dear Continental Airlines,

I am disgusted as I write this note to you about the miserable experience I am having sitting in seat 29E on one of your aircrafts. As you may know, this seat is situated directly across from the lavatory, so close that I can reach out my left am and touch the door.

All my senses are being tortured simultaneously. It’s difficult to say what the worst part about sitting in 29E really is? Is it the stench of the sanitation fluid that’s blown all over my body every 60 seconds when the door opens? Is it the wooosh of the constant flushing? Or is it the passengers asses that seem to fit into my personal space like a pornographic jig-saw puzzel?

I constructed a stink-shield by shoving one end of a blanket into the overhead compartment — while effective in blocking at least some of the smell, and offering a small bit of privacy, the ass-on-my-body factor has increased, as without my evil glare, passengers feel free to lean up against what they think is some kind of blanketed wall. The next ass that touches my shoulder will be the last!

I am picturing a board room, full of executives giving props to the young promising engineer that figured out how to squeeze an additional row of seats onto this plane by putting them next to the LAV.


I would like to flush his head in the toilet that I am close enough to touch, and taste, from my seat.

Putting a seat here was a very bad idea. I just heard a man GROAN in there! THIS SUCKS!


Worse yet, is I’ve paid over $400.00 for the honor of sitting in this seat!

Does your company give refunds? I’d like to go back where I came from and start over. Seat 29E could only be worse if it was located inside the bathroom.

I wonder if my clothing will retain the sanitizing odor…. what about my hair! I feel like I’m bathing in a toilet bowl of blue liquid, and there is no man in a little boat to save me.

I am filled with a deep hatred for your plane designer and a general dis-ease that may last for hours.

We are finally decending, and soon I will be able to tear down the stink-shield, but the scars will remain.

I suggest that you initiate immediate removal of this seat from all of your crafts. Just remove it, and leave the smouldering brown hole empty, a good place for sturdy/non-absorbing luggage maybe, but not human cargo.

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