Ruth Aitken: Son's Jetstar aisle pee 'beyond belief'

By Hayley Hannan

Jetstar says the situation with the urinationg paasenger has been resolved. Photo / Supplied
Jetstar says the situation with the urinationg paasenger has been resolved. Photo / Supplied

The Jetstar urinator has been unmasked as Michael Aitken, son of Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken.

Aitken told the Herald last night she did not learn of the incident until Sunday.

"We have spoken with him and he does not remember anything - but he is hugely embarrassed at what has been reported and the thought that he could have done something like that is just beyond belief really, for all of us - him included."

Mr Aitken, who in May helped his Canterbury Men's Under 21 basketball team win the national crown, was six hours into a Jetstar flight from Auckland to Singapore last Monday (May 27), when he stunned fellow passengers.

He woke from a drunken slumber and began emptying his bladder in the aisle - spraying one man and soaking a woman's scarf.

Several people wrote to the Herald fingering Mr Aitken after a picture of him sleeping it off was published.

At the netball world championships in Singapore last night, Ruth Aitken said her son - who studied at Canterbury University - was deeply upset.

"I gather there was an incident that happened, the challenge is that my son has no recollection of it," Aitken said, shortly after watching the Silver Ferns demolish Fiji 80-25.

"Certainly, Grant and I as parents would be hugely disappointed and hugely distressed if what was reported as his behaviour happened. We wouldn't condone anything like that.

"He's deeply sorry if he offended anyone, and he is just beside himself because he can't remember."

The man urinated on said he considered legal action after the company handled the incident "poorly".

Zhe Ma was watching a movie when splashes hit his coat and laptop, as well as the carpet and a woman's scarf.

Mr Ma asked a flight attendant for help, but she told him to wait until she had finished serving people.

"None of the crew offered me different seats. They said there wasn't any free seats. Then the captain came and agreed. For the rest of the flight, no one came to ask if I needed anything.

"I realise that Jetstar is a budget airline, but it doesn't mean they can under-rate their responsibility of keeping passengers' trips safe and enjoyable."

He threw out his jacket and laptop bag as soon as he landed in Singapore.

When Mr Ma contacted the Herald he still hadn't received any offer of compensation or heard back from Jetstar after replying to an email apologising for the incident. He said he was deciding whether to take legal action.

Once the Herald contacted Jetstar, the company offered Mr Ma a $500 travel voucher and compensation for his jacket and laptop bag.

Jetstar spokeswoman Andrea Wait said the situation had been resolved.

- NZ Herald

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