In a viral TikTok video, Sophie Shaw - the founder of artificial intelligence company Azuryne - shared footage of a bag leaking some “unidentified liquid” on her from the airplane cabin. However, she was unable to move her seat because the cabin crew had informed her there was no empty space on the flight from San Jose to Santa Ana, California.
“POV: unidentified liquid drips from someone else’s bag on you the entire flight because the flight attendant says she can’t move you or the bag,” the 24-year-old wrote over the video.
The clip showed some mysterious droplets splattering onto the passenger’s seat from an overhead gap. In an interview with the New York Post, she explained that crew members had tried to stop the leak with paper towels before take-off, but to no avail. “They put some paper towels in the locker, so I guess they’d tried to fix something but they couldn’t,” Shaw recounted.
When Shaw tried to get some help from one of the flight attendants to move the leaky bag, she said that the flight attendant she had flagged down “wasn’t sympathetic whatsoever” to her plight.
“I pressed the button and told the flight attendant but I thought she looked at me as if I was a nuisance,” Shaw recalled. “I think it should have been her job to make a bigger deal out of it but she just said the flight was too full and she couldn’t move the luggage.”
Shaw claimed that she was forced to sit beneath the leak for the entirety of her hour-and-a-half flight. “I tried to shove myself to one half of the seat to avoid the dripping but my pants were completely soaked and I was basically sitting in a puddle,” the San Francisco native said.
To make matters worse, turbulence caused the droplets to splatter everywhere, and reportedly even led to Shaw’s shoes being soaked. She wasn’t sure what exactly the liquid was, which caused her to feel immensely “uncomfortable” throughout the whole ordeal.
“It was really disgusting to sit through and I was feeling pretty grossed out the entire time so I literally just closed my eyes and listened to music to try and block it out,” she said. “I think they should have offered to clean it up themselves at the bare minimum and rearranged the luggage to try and stop the drip.”
After the Azuryne founder documented her experience on TikTok, she received more than 3.5m views on the platform. Many viewers in the comment section were appalled on her behalf.
“The way I’d be making this everyone’s problem,” one person wrote, while another added: “The scene I would make! Absolutely not, y’all are either tossing that bag or I am!”
Some people suggested that the cabin crew should have simply made an announcement, asking passengers who the bag belonged to. A former flight attendant commented: “We would instantly ask who’s bag that is and not allow this to continue to drip.”
In a follow-up comment, Shaw shared that Southwest Airlines had responded to her complaint and covered the cost of her next flight. “Update they responded immediately and gave me a voucher that’ll cover a free flight!!” she said.
The Independent has contacted Shaw and Southwest Airlines for comment.