Woman Allegedly Asked to Pee in a Cup on a United Flight
Another cringeworthy airline incident has surfaced this morning. United Airlines is the culprit again — and, coincidentally enough, it reportedly occurred on the same day that Dr. David Dao was forcibly dragged off a United flight.
Nicole Harper was on a United flight from Houston (IAH) to Kansas City (MCI) when she had to use the restroom about 30 minutes into the flight. Harper says that she told the flight attendants that she has an overactive bladder, but they refused to let her venture to the lavatory because the fasten seat belt sign was turned on. Harper then told the flight attendants that she needed to go so bad that they would have to let her go or she would need to urinate in a cup. To her shock — a flight attendant brought her back a cup.
Harper documented her frustration on her Facebook page, focusing on the fact that United had not responded to her complaints. According to Harper, after they'd given her the cup at her seat, she said she would need another and filled up both at her seat. After a flight attendant realized she was serious, Harper was told she would need to go to the lavatory to empty the cups. Harper says she was shamed as a flight attendant escorted her down the aisle and other passengers watched. Flight attendants then told her that they would be "filing a report," "calling in the hazmat team to clean the entire row" and that she would need to speak with the pilot after landing. She said there was no mess involved.
"You would think peeing in a cup on an airplane in front of my family and strangers, would be the worst part of this story," Harper wrote in a Facebook post. "But the way I was treated by the flight attendants afterwards was worse." Harper then said that to top it all off, a man in first class used the lavatory while the seatbelt sign was on and the plane was on its descent into MCI, and a flight attendant didn't say anything.
In her immediate efforts to reach United Airlines' customer service department, she submitted a complaint. After several weeks of hearing nothing from United, she attempted to call the airline for an apology but no one accepted her call. So, she took her story to social media, which then took off and was picked up by local news.
There are some conflicting facts here, however. United says that Harper's bathroom incident took place while the plane was descending, but she claims she asked to go while they were about 30 minutes in to the two-hour flight. United also said that the incident occurred on one of its partner-operated flights — Mesa Airlines.
The airline has since issued a statement, reading:
"Customer safety is always our first priority. Initial reports from the Mesa Airlines flight attendants indicate that Ms. Harper attempted to visit the lavatory on final descent and was instructed to remain seated with the seat belt fastened per FAA regulations. The situation as described by Ms. Harper and our employees is upsetting for all involved. We have reached out to Ms. Harper and our flying partner Mesa Airlines to better understand what occurred."
In a follow-up Facebook post after her story had aired and been picked up by media outlets, Harper said that only then did she receive "a call from an executive customer service representative at United Airlines."