During the recent trip, which departed from Houston, Texas, Nicole Harper, a Kansas City emergency room nurse, got up to use the bathroom; however, a flight attendant told her to sit down.
“They started doing drink service, and other people [were] getting up at this point,” Harper, who did not return Yahoo Beauty’s request for comment, told Missouri local news station KCTV5.
According to Harper, the restroom was already occupied and people started getting up to move around. The mother has an overactive bladder and told the attendant that her need was urgent. However, at that moment, the plane experienced turbulence and the attendant “told me very rudely I was not allowed to get out of my seat,” she told KCTV5.
Harper then made a split-second decision. “Well, I’m going to need a cup then,” she said, adding, “I was thinking I was on ‘Candid Camera’ or being punked at this point.”
With her husband beside her, Harper filled two cups with urine and afterward, an attendant told her to empty the cups in the bathroom, that she would be reported, and that the pilot would meet with her after the flight. Harper was also informed that her seat would need to be professionally cleaned. “She was basically reprimanding me and talking down to me through the aisle with other people listening,” she said. “There was just no customer service, no compassion.”
A United spokesperson sent the following statement to Yahoo Beauty: “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 descent and was instructed to remain seated with the seat belt fastened per FAA regulations. At no point during the flight did flight attendants suggest that Ms. Harper use cups instead of the lavatory. We have reached out to Ms. Harper to better understand what occurred and we continue to review what happened.”
However, on Harper’s Facebook page, she disputed the airline’s version of events, writing, “United Airlines lied about reaching out to me. I attempted to reach them multiple times over the past two weeks and was repetitively told customer service would not take my call. They also lied about the incident happening during the descent … this all happened mid-flight, while flight attendants were providing drink service.”
It’s been a rocky few weeks for United Airlines. The company issued an apology to a woman who didn’t speak English after allowing her to board a plane to San Francisco instead of Paris. The airline had changed departure gates without notifying passengers via email or in either French or English.
In another incident, the airline apologized to a man for canceling his reservation after he argued with an attendant about the cost of his checked luggage. When the man began taping the interaction because the representative was being “rude” to him, she whipped out her own camera to record, then canceled his trip.
And in April, a 69-year-old physician was forcibly dragged off a flight, causing him to develop a concussion and to break his nose and teeth. The incident was captured on video, which quickly went viral. While United apologized and the aviation officers were placed on leave, the doctor filed a lawsuit against the airline, which was recently settled for an undisclosed amount, according to NBC.
That same month, a 3-foot rabbit named Simon who was competing in a giant rabbit contest in Iowa was allegedly placed in a freezer during a 16-hour United flight from London and died after the plane landed. However, United denies that the rabbit was placed in a freezer. “He was cared for the United PetSafe kennel facility, which is kept at room temperature (on average 70°F),” the airline said in a statement to People.
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