What A Shitty Flight!!!

A number of years ago, I was involved with a Continental Airlines employee and in between his frequently verbalized tales of industry and corporate ills and the fact that Continental is Houston’s hometown carrier, as Bobby De Niro would say, “I’ve heard things”; decent stuff and woeful accounts. It’s true–no corporation is infallible, but the following story, paints such a colorful picture.

Someone sent this to me the other day and once I read it, I knew the story sounded familiar.

Not to mention, gross as hell.

It’s a few years old and has probably made the rounds in more than a few in boxes by this time, but the story focuses on one customer’s particularly bad experience on a Continental flight either to or from Houston in December of 2004. I’ve included a copy of the actual complaint letter written by hand on a napkin by one very angry passenger. It was left in that marsupial-like magazine and vomit bag pouch pocket thing behind the seat.

Make no mistake, this passenger was angry and justifiably so, might I add. I’ve also included a typed version that’s much easier to read. Look for that beneath the napkin jpeg.

It doesn’t matter which version you read. Both are the same, both are hilarious and according to Snopes.com, quite true.

Apparently, hell on Earth isn’t about fire and brimstone at all. No, hell on Earth is confined to the cramped, ass level seat that’s numbered 29E and located in the rear of Continental Flight #888.

Pun intended.

(By the way, you just gotta love a passenger so pissed off, that he includes graphics in his letter of complaint!!!)

The letter reads:

Dear Continental Airlines,

I am disgusted as I write this note to you about the miserable experience I am having sitting in the 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 arm 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 flued that is blown all over my body every 60 seconds when the door opens? Is it the woosh of the constant flushing? Or is it the passengers asses that seem to to fit into my personal space like a pornographic jig-saw puzzle?

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 sort of blanketed wall. The next ass that touches my shoulder will be the last!

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 for the honor of sitting in this seat!

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.

Does your company give refunds? I’d like to go back where I cam 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 descending, and soon I will be able to tear down the stink shelf, but the scars will remain.

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


So, there you go.

I’ve no idea how Continental responded to the letter if at all or what they did to compensate this passenger if at all. If I ever find out, I’ll let you know.

But for the time being mon frehr, it looks like Continental will fly you to places where you can shop duty free, but on their airplanes, there are times when you sure as hell can’t fly doodie free.



  1. Damn you, Kendrick.

    I’m flying Continental into Houston on Monday, noon. I’ll beware of 29E.

    I’m going to Panama so I’ll only be doodie free going.

  2. I was having a very crappy (pun intended) Monday, and my attitude was deteriorating rapidly. I read this and couldn’t stop laughing. It was the perfect pick me to get me through the rest of the day. Thanks for taking the time to find such gems.

  3. As a follow-up, the letter must have made an impression.

    The Continental Express I took into and out of Houston ended at Row 18. However, the bathroom is dead center in the back and 29E’s old wealth has been redistributed to rows 14 thru 18. Welcome to the club, boys and girls.

    The larger plane now goes to row 32 and no one is forced to face the music. Except for the generously proportioned Panamanian grandmother who almost had a heart attack and forced a medical emergency landing in Mexico. The only music she was about to hear was coming from the harps and lyres of heaven’s house band. And Jesus turned water into Ron Zacapa Centenario.

  4. I thought about you Brian..I wondered how your trip went.

    Glad to hear that sans the medical emergency in Socialistic Mexico, your sojourn to Panama via Continental was nothing short of not exactly stellar.

    Ah yes…Centenario. Did you know that in a pinch, it can also be used to remove rust; auger swimmer’s ear and of course, help you get one mother of a drunk on.


  5. It’s nice to be though of but in no way, shape or form is Zacapa on the suck end of the rum shelf. I brought a bottle back and have enjoyed it with no hangover whatsoever.

    Due to professional reasons, I cannot go into the details of meeting with a rogue who has previous personal dealings with Pinochet, Baby Doc, and Castro and offered to have me killed but I can assure you, I did not lose at billiards and suffered many insults because Americas Is Lost unless we elect Obama.

    For some reason, before I got to the Shipley’s at George Bush airport, the “Welcome To Houston, TX USA” sign had me thinking inappropriately of Larry Gatlin.

  6. OMG! This is the hell I just went through, on the opposite side of the isle but the same miserable violating experience. This seat, 29c, actually protrudes furthur out in the isle than the other side. I would love to see the executives of the company sit there. I have never been so tourtured in my life. I was about to get up and scream. I would rather spend the whole 5 hours standing instead. I got through it by hitting people back with my magazine which I used to block the body parts that invaded my breathing space. My god it was the worse traveling experience of my life.

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