Both the writer and the sock wearer are women and the flight was an AirAsia sector from Singapore to Sydney. The sock wearer apparently went to sleep after removing her shoes and thrusting her sock-clad feet between the seat in front of her and the window. This forced the passenger in front, Lau Munyee, 24, to inhale their odour.
Lau’s open letter, loaded with sarcasm, says the flight turned out to be a “once in a lifetime experience” – but not for the right reasons.
She said the woman behind started out by repeatedly kicking the back of her seat, giving her a “full back massage”.
“To date, I have yet to regain full mobility of the lower half of my body. But since I am single, I suppose I don’t have much use for it anyway.”
Lau said the woman behind was incessantly chewing on snacks or talking so loudly she “wished for a hearing impairment”.
When the sock-clad feet arrived within smelling distance, Lau said her nose was suddenly “assaulted by a putrid smell of death and decay.
“The stench was so strong that I turned to check if the old lady seated next to me was still breathing.”
The crimson beauty of sunrise over Australia from the plane was spoiled by the foul sock stench. In a particularly vivid allusion, Lau compared the stink to the “anus of Satan”, adding that she might have used the oxygen mask above her seat but feared the budget airline would charge her extra.
Lau wrote her letter on a sick-bag (mainly as a distraction from the smell) and later posted it on Singaporean website SGAG.
It might seem an unusual way to go about registering an objection, but it’s a lot better than some of the examples of flight rage and boorish behaviour that hit the news with distressing frequency.
Written by Peter Needham