Another day, another PR nightmare for the United States airline industry.
A United passenger with an overactive bladder was reportedly forced to urinate in a cup at when flight staff refused to let her out of her seat to use the bathroom.
Nicole Harper, a Kansas City ER nurse, wrote a Facebook post about her ordeal on a United Airlines flight on April 10 — one day after Dr. David Dao was dragged bloodied and screaming from a United flight after he refused to give up his seat on the overbooked flight.
Harper waited almost a month before posting the Facebook status, saying she had finally lost her patience with the airline’s response and wanted to share her story.
“[I] just keep thinking about how wrong this situation was,” she wrote in the Facebook post, before sharing details of the humiliating ordeal.
“After explaining that I have an overactive bladder and would either need to use the restroom or pee in a cup, I was handed a cup by flight attendants,” Harper wrote. At the time, the plane was reportedly in its descent and the “Fasten seatbelt” light was on.
Harper said she had tried to get up to use the bathroom because of the urgency of the situation, but flight attendants forced her back to her seat.
“I said, ‘I’m going to need to use the restroom or I’m going to need a cup.’ They handed me the cup which was about this big and I was like, ‘I’m going to need a second cup,’” Harper said. “I don’t know if they just didn’t understand that I don’t have any control over the situation.”
Harper said the airline staff made her feel as though she did something terribly wrong, and made an uncomfortable situation far more humiliating than it needed to be.
The flight attendants treated me like I had committed a crime, stating they would be filing a report, calling in the hazmat team to clean the entire row (let me mention there was no mess involved) and told me I would need to talk with the pilot after the flight!
The woman claimed that another passenger — who was flying in first class — breezily walked to use the bathroom while the flight was in its final descent, passing a flight attendant along the way.
Harper also said that the airline had not been responsive when she tried to file a complaint report of the incident.
As an emergency room nurse, I completely understand having a bad day on the job and having to deal with undesirable bodily fluids,” she wrote in the post. “What I don’t understand is ZERO customer service, if I treated a patient this poorly I would surely have consequences.”
United issued a statement to the news station KSHB addressing the incident.
“The situation as described by Ms. Harper and our employees is upsetting for all involved,” the statement said. “We have reached out to Ms. Harper and our flying partner Mesa Airlines to better understand what occurred.”