A flight attendant for a Taiwanese airline has accused a passenger of sexual harassment after he allegedly forced female flight attendants to help him in the bathroom, appearing to derive sexual pleasure.
The New York Post and Focus Taiwan report that an overweight passenger, confined to a wheelchair, demanded female flight attendants remove his clothes and wipe his bottom during a bathroom break on a January 19 flight from Los Angeles to Tapei.
According to the reports, the passenger told the flight attendants about two hours into the flight that he needed help using the bathroom, and allegedly threatened to defecate on the floor if flight attendants did not give into his demands.
“I felt that as a flight attendant, removing a passenger’s underwear was beyond the scope of my responsibilities,” a flight attendant, a member Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union, reportedly said at a news conference about the incident, according to the Daily Mail.
“I told him we couldn’t help him, but he started yelling. He told me to go in there immediately and threatened to relieve himself on the floor.”
According to multiple reports, Eva Airlines employs only female flight attendants.
The flight attendant reportedly said at the press conference that the passenger insisted he needed help wiping his backside after using the toilet, and that cabin staff agreed to help, fearing he would not leave the bathroom. But the passenger appeared to be deriving sexual pleasure from the experience, and taunted the woman helping him.
“He said: “Oh, mmm, deeper, deeper,” and then accused my chief attendant of not properly cleaning his backside, requesting that she do it again,'” the flight attendant said at the news conference, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the Focus Taiwan report, the airline union has asked Eva Airlines to sue the passenger, who reportedly defecated in his underwear on a previous flight with the airline. It is unclear at this time if the airline will sue.
The company did reportedly issue a statement obtained by Focus Taiwan, saying that airline employees have every right to refuse requests for help from passengers they feel are inappropriate.