A few years ago I felt that the standard of Cathay Pacific Airways' service was declining, but on my recent trip to London it was fine. However, on the return trip to Hong Kong my wife and I had the misfortune to find ourselves seated behind an elderly couple one (or perhaps both) of whom had a major flatulence problem. Now we all let one rip occasionally, but this was different: a steady stream of non-stop stinkers.
We tried to put up with it for a while, but eventually the malodorous miasma around us became totally intolerable, and my wife had to request the cabin attendant in our section to find new seats for us. (Since this was done in Cantonese, the offending couple, who were not Chinese, presumably could not understand).
The plane was nearly full, and I don't know how she did it, but the stewardess managed to persuade someone else to move and thereby succeeded in getting us two seats a couple of rows further back, out of range of the pungent putridity. Another passenger, seeing our two previous seats free, attempted to colonise them, but also rapidly retreated from the noxious emanations.
So to the helpful, cheerful and diplomatic stewardess on flight CX 254 on 30 January, many thanks! And to the rancid reeker producing the pestilence, for God's sake see a doctor to get your digestion sorted out. Or get yourself some charcoal filter underwear. Or just never get on the same plane as me again!
And that should be the end of the story - except that after landing at Chek Lap Kok we took the airport bus to get home, and found ourselves seated behind another foul farter! One is just bad luck, but with two I was beginning to suspect a conspiracy. Fortunately he got off at the Tsing Ma Bridge tollbooths, and the rest of the journey was as fresh as Hong Kong's polluted air ever is.